Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Say 'lol' if you are lazy

I can imagine that when people first started using short message service (SMS) on their bulky mobile phones or their computers back in the 80s, a reply to something really funny your friend just said would go something like, "oh my goodness, that is SO funny. I'm totally laughing my head off right now." In a conversation, you want to show response, so that's cool.

Us being humans, it's only natural that we become lazy (especially after the novelty of SMS has worn off) and think having to explain to your friend that you think he is really funny and that you are laughing at his joke is too much of a hassle. That was probably when acronyms came into the picture. Some geniuses must have thought it cool -- and character-saving, and therefore, time-saving -- to replace two sentences with a LOL or a ROFL. Now, when your friend has just said something funny, you just have to go "LOL" to show your approval of his attempt at hilarity. And the best part is, the three letters send across a message as clearly as the inconvenient two sentences would have done.

Human laziness is one issue. We have another issue of tending to bring whatever's done on screen into our lives, and being convinced that what works virtually would work just as well in reality. Look at how many boys in the world are convinced in their deluded minds that they are adept fighters just because they get high scores in war games. They get all proud about it, and they make sure people know. Put them in a true war zone and they probably can't survive beyond a mine planted under their feet. Yet, they walk about in society as though they have the swagger of a warrior.

Not unlike the warrior wannabes, we are starting to think that using acronyms to express our laughters work in the realistic too. God has blessed most of us with a sense of humor. (Actually, I think He blesses all mankind in that area, just that certain individuals can't seem to manifest the blessing.) To those receptive to sense of humor, God is cool enough to let us express our humor through an ability to laugh. But again, us humans got lazy once laughing didn't seem like that big of a deal, and now many youngsters are resorting to saying 'lol' -- not pronounced L-O-L but said like the first syllable of 'lollipop' -- to mean laughter. It strikes me as kinda weird and maybe even a wee bit hypocritical to say you are laughing when you are really not.

And here I am, acting like I am in the position to judge when in fact I'm also a culprit contributing to this gradual erosion of sincere human interaction. Recent months have seen me 'lol-ing' at just about everything that will typically make me laugh. My sense of humor pretty much remains, but instead of just laughing, my laughter is now preceded by the mention of 'lol'.

Jess and I had a discussion about this a while ago. I expressed my annoyance at people who say 'lol' when not a muscle on their face points to anything remotely close to a smile. Jess thought the whole 'lol-ing' trend was ridiculous, but she thought it even more ridiculous that I thought the same as her when I myself was guilty of lol-ing too. She got me for a second, but then I thought hey, I was different because I actually do laugh. You see the difference? So many people say 'lol' with a sour expression, and the big contradiction there itself makes their word so...unjustified. In my case, every 'lol' of mine is followed by a hearty laughter.

"So if you were already going to laugh, why do you have to announce that by first saying 'lol'?" asked Jess. "You can just laugh, you know."

"Tell me then, if you were already going to the toilet anyway, why do you have to first announce that to everyone in the room?" I shot back. "You can just go without telling, you know. But we all know that you, and I, even right after this, will continue to announce what we are going to do."

That shut her up. Though I actually honestly don't think that justifies saying 'lol' outside of a chat box or a text message.

My point is, I announce that I'm laughing out loud, and I laugh out loud. So I'm doing nothing wrong. I have a problem with people who say they are laughing out loud, but they are not. You have to walk the talk.

On another train of thought, I think the whole initial point of bringing 'lol' to reality was to be sarcastic and scorn at people's attempt at being funny that just wasn't funny. I think some people missed that point and thought 'lol' could replace the laughter in their life.

Lol at them.

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