It appears these past years, the culture of communicating is evolving into something of which I believe is a backward slide towards vague and not often clear forms of dialog between two or more people, and most generally in the form of e-mails and texts. I know we live in a world that’s moving in a faster pace than say 20 years ago, but I’m not so sure this evolution of communicating ideas are justified simply because we don’t have time to be more clear in the meanings as well as the content of what we write. I certainly don’t believe we should be overly wordy or even use obscure words instead of those that mean the same thing and more commonly used.
To be sure, I’m not the only person who finds the use of FYI to be overly used. Whenever I encounter it in someone’s writing, I have to carefully examine the “tone” words to see if the FYI was meant in a dismissive way, or if it was simply plugged in as a sloppy way of introducing a subject. Another similarly disliked acronym is BTW. It too has the ability to be condescending and judgmental. It’s like being scolded in written form like this: “By the way, you didn’t take the garbage out this morning.” It often has a negative hook to it.
Have you ever received something in an e-mail that has a few LOL’s inserted in the text? I find the use of LOL to be an attempt by someone to get us to believe something that’s been written by the author to be considered similarly funny by the receiver. I have absolutely no problem with the use of LOL as long as the writer and recipient are more acquainted and comfortable with freely speaking and using it sparingly. Emotion tabs that are contained in cell phones and e-mail fonts are as well overly used. Smiley faces, winks, frowns, and all the others are getting more and more creepy. I’m even finding the :) being placed on the ends of sentences and paragraphs. I have no clue how or why that got started. Perhaps it’s supposed to cause the reader to believe the author is all smiles. :) :) :) Whenever I receive a greeting card in the mail with a smiley face, I can’t help but consider that the author couldn’t think of anything else to write, so the smiley faces were added to create a form of content. I sent out a thank you note last week to someone who did something terribly nice for me and I made sure to conveyed a true message of my thankfulness for that act of kindness. Yesterday, I received a phone call from this person informing me that it was one of the nicest cards received in a very long time. I truly didn’t go out of my way with words of thanks, but rather conveyed in writing, a clear picture of the degree of this person’s generosity.
It makes me a bit sad to think that society in general is distancing itself from taking a few extra minutes out of a day to write more clear letters, cards, texts and e-mails. I know we are all guilty of short-cutting communications with those annoying acronyms and emotions, but I do hope we use them more sparingly in the future. Yes, I’ll be the first to admit I’ve used nearly all the above until one day I realized it was becoming a bit habit forming as well realizing it to be distasteful when seeing it more often when coming from others.