When acronyms became “cool” for texting and instant messaging, I was relatively unimpressed. We’d used acronyms in my house for years. “MIHAPOB” for “may I have a piece of bread,” “YNTM” for “you’re not the mom,” “TCB” for “then come back,” etc etc.
I suppose the first time I realized acronyms were entering the popular vernacular was when I was about eleven or twelve and read an American Girl Magazine article about instant messaging. We still had dial-up, so instant messenger was unattainable, but as an avid e-mailer the idea of it fascinated me.
I read the list of popular IM acronums. “TTYL” means “talk to you later.” “BRB” means “be right back.” “LOL” means “laugh out loud.”
How was “LOL” a thing? When in real life do people actually say “laugh out loud?” How often do they actually laugh out loud when reading instant messages?
It was stupid, and I was sure it would blow over.
Eventually we got DSL internet and I downloaded instant messeger. My friends began texting. Xanga happened. Facebook. And still, people said “LOL.” What was wrong with them?
I stubbornly stuck to “ha ha.” Every once in a while I switched it up with a “bwa ha ha.” NEVER “ba ha ha.” That was almost as bad as “LOL,” in my opinion.
I suppose my resolve began to crack when I started literally laughing out loud at things on Facebook, and wanting to let people know the extent of how hilarious they were. So I would say, “literal LOL.” That’s not so bad, right?
Well recently, in the past few months or so, I realized that my infrequent “literal LOL”s were morphing into not-so-infrequent straight-up “LOL”s.
I had finally succumbed to the hated acronym that wouldn’t die.
I had lost. I’m sorry, teenage self that wanted so desperately to be different. I have become one of “them.”
And then, I started reading articles like this:
And I had only one response: