It must be said

November 28, 2007 at 6:08 pm 1 comment

Okay people, feel free to brush this off as a PMS fueled rant, but the fact that my brain is currently saturated with hormones, shouldn’t detract from the fact that what you are about to read is true and real and one of the most important messages you’ll ever read in your life. I’m only being slightly over-dramatic.

Message board users, internet chatters, bloggers and pretty much anyone with access to a keyboard, I’m here today to beg of you – to implore you, to please stop using “lol” in contexts that don’t constitute a laugh or a chuckle or even a half-cocked smile. Stop using it as if its an emoticon. Just stop. I like a good smiley đŸ™‚ as much as the next person. It lets someone know that you’re actually smiling or that you are being sarcastic (if its a winky smile). Emoticons are one internet meme that has managed to remain mostly un-abused. “Lol,” is a different story. It’s an abbreviation that actually stands for three words. When you spell out those words they convey that something has made you “laugh out loud” as opposed to simply having a thought that something is mildly amusing, or not amusing at all, and has lead to little or no outward expression. The truth is, you’re not laughing out loud that often. Don’t try to convince me you are. If you must use “lol” it should should be typed only as a response to something genuinely funny. You shouldn’t use it when you’re greeting someone. You shouldn’t use it when you’ve just said something mildly ironic or silly. You really shouldn’t use it after your own stories or comments at all. Don’t say: “I just woke up and its 1:00 in the afternoon…lol.” Don’t do that! Don’t do it. Stop doing it. You didn’t just laugh at the fact that you slept late and neither would anyone else.

Often, when chatting with someone, (usually Beth, because that girl cracks me up on the regular) I do actually laugh out loud. I’ve never actually rolled on the floor while reading or watching or listening to something on a computer screen but I’ve laughed enough to have tears come to my eyes or to not be able speak for a moment. It is at times like that I might think about letting someone know that they’ve made me giggle. But you folks who use “lol” all of the time, like a virtual, typed, tick make me and many of us in internet-land want to avoid the term all together. Please see several real-life examples that I’ve collected from various sources:

He is just my friend…lol.

I guess it depends on the music, lol.

just kidding, lol.

what are you up to today? lol.

Were these folks really laughing out loud when they typed these messages? I suppose its possible…if they are INSANE. No. “Lol” has just become for some people, a useless filler. So what should our response be? In all honesty I don’t know that there’s much we can do. We can avoid the abuse of “lol” ourselves, but what of those clueless souls who will never see the light? My tactic has been and will continue to be to simply try and ignore it. Until widespread change happens, all I can do attempt to block it out as if it’s just a typo. I’ll think to myself, “That person didn’t mean to type those random letters in the middle of such a humorless comment. ”

I am moderately hopeful that this post can serve as a wake up call. I propose that we all take a good hard look at our use of “lol.” Before you type it, think…”Am I really laughing right now?” That’s always a good test to help you decide which internet situations call for “lol.” If we all did this one thing – if we all only typed lol when we were actually laughing – or if, God forbid, we actually typed out complete words occasionally – we could change the entire landscape of the internet. “Lol” might regain some meaning. Eventually, people might even begin rethinking their use of other acronyms like “omg” and “wtf.” It all begins with us. We can do it. We can make a difference, one keystroke at a time.


Entry filed under: humor, personal.

lets hear it for the boys Check Yourself

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