This last week was an eventful week for me, and it got me thinking. Let me share the story.
On Friday, I logged on to my Face Book account where there was a brief message on my wall from a young woman who helped me run the Face Book account of an animal rescue. The message was two short sentences long with the famous lol at the end of it. For those of you who may not know, lol means laugh out loud on Face Book, and is often used to implement tone of message. However, this lol was of no use, the two sentences preceding it were snarky and just plain rude. With that said I decided to focus my attention on the lol and let the message itself slide. How was I to know what kind of a day my Face Book rescue friend was having? In the name of cyber friendship I was prepared to move on and say no more about it. But my young friend was not.
I will not go too much longer into the boring and often confusing nature of the back and forth messages via the Face Book messaging system. The point would be moot. What I want to dwell on, but once again is the power of the language we use.
As a professional word smith, I am simply smitten with words. I have come to realize that the words which flow from our month, our pens, or from the strokes of our keyboards can do both. Words can lift us up to the highest of heights or they can cut us down, leaving us face down in the dirt. With anything so powerful, care should always be taken before use. Yet many speak without care and brush off all responsibility. I wonder why? Is it laziness? Is it an inability to act responsibly? Is it a narcissism that only humans can carry?
I know that not everyone speaks without for-thought. I also know that many try to exercise the discipline of pause, but from time to time slip. I would consider myself in that category. What I do not know is how anyone can think a lol will lessen the sting of a hurtful remark. All I do know is that anyone who uses lol as a way to veil a rude remark might consider using the caps locks on their lol, and simply leave out the prior sentences. Those sentences will only cause a break in communication. Which, I am sad to say is now the case for my friend and I.