Kayden Kross Blog
I hate lol. Visually it's like nails on a chalkboard. When I
read it I want to reach through my screen and wipe it away. I want an edit
button for it, or one of those little blurry boxes. Digital white out.
Rofl isn't as prevalent so it doesn't activate my OCD in the
same way. Ttyl seems outdated and is therefore not a threat to me. I can't even
comprehend these new emotional outburst acronyms that are longer than four
characters in length, aside from, of course, lololololol--which naturally makes
me want to stab things. I can handle brb, but I think only because I know
exactly one person who uses it, and he uses it with extreme wit, sarcasm, and
caution. This formula makes anything OK.
I have small but acute internal meltdowns that I feel peer
pressure to mask when people actually verbalize lol in conversation. Lies. When
you say lol to me in my physical presence you are not, in fact, lol-ing. In
fact I suspect that when you type lol you are not laughing out loud at me even
then. I suspect you're looking at your screen with the same expressionless
straight face or slight smirk that I am, because facial expressions are only
used in the presence of others, because they are a form of visual communication
with other life forms that actually have to see you to get it.
But I'm starting to get it. It doesn't bother me any less,
I'm just rationalizing it better. Especially lately when I say things on
twitter that are not meant to be taken literally, but are, and before I know it
I have people who don't get the reference asking where they can send flowers
and get well soon cards and whether I've designated a next of kin. My rabbit is
my next of kin. There.
But I'm committing the same crime with smiley faces. People
say I do them backwards, like this:
To be honest I don't think it's possible to smile backwards.
They are my go-to response as I answer emails. They are code
for many things, such as "I don't speak your language" or "I don't want to
answer your question" or "I do not want to commit myself to your opinion or get
into an argument with you over it" or "I can't tell whether that's rhetorical".
Mostly I find myself adding them to the end of almost everything I say as an
insurance policy against being taken literally.
That's just the problem with written language across the
distance of the web though. All of the subtleties of visual cues and intonation
are stripped away and next thing you know what you intended as the most awesome
joke of the century has been grossly misinterpreted as serial killer tendencies
and so on. Compound that with the language and cultural barriers you run into
as you respond to people all over the world in real time and the emotional
distress becomes immeasurable, as with the islander who took me seriously when
I suggested we elope in Canada and hunt moose for sustenance.
So that's where I am on Friday night--sitting at home
rationalizing pop culture acronyms (which to my horror I discovered all have
Wikipedia pages), and taking it a step further as I grapple with whether I can
actually use them. I know I should out of compassion for the poor souls I've
unwittingly fucked with, but I'm going with the slippery slope argument on this
one and I'm afraid of where opening this floodgate of intolerable methods of
communication might take me. I tried it on. I practiced saying lol in the
mirror. I don't wear it right. It's like the first time I cussed in 6thgrade and everyone laughed instead of taking my middle-school outburst
seriously. I really meant it when I finally said the F-word. So what if I