FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK: Bless his heart vs. Lol

Posted on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 at 11:59 am

I’m far from being considered an “older person.”

I’ve grown up in the technology age, albeit perhaps not so much as the kids in school now who are using iPads for textbooks and such. Texting first started when I was a junior in high school. In fact, that is when the first camera phone started to come along.

josh petersonBut one thing that seems to have developed over the years as text messaging has evolved is the use of the infamous term “lol.”

It means “laugh out loud.”

But it really doesn’t mean that – certainly not in a literal sense.

Apparently, in text language, you can add “lol” to the end of anything and sweeten it up. It’s like sugar. Just throw a little of that in and everyone loves the recipe. I’m starting to think it is the modern person’s “bless his heart.”

You can say anything about anybody and, as long as it is followed with “bless his heart,” then it’s OK.

The use of “lol” seems to be following that footprint.

“I would like to kill that guy. Lol.”

Can’t take me serious. I said “lol.” So no need to turn me in to the police. Meanwhile, my plot and cover up is thickening deeper inside my brain.

“Gosh you are just so stupid sometimes. Lol.” When your friend texts you this, he/she is being serious. But you don’t take them seriously because they said “lol.” It goes along with the “brave behind the keyboard” mentality. I can call anyone an idiot from miles away, behind my cell phone and with a little “lol” with it.

It’s just habit for some people now, it seems. Send a text, add the “lol” at the end. It is almost without hesitation. “My dog died today. Lol.”

You are “lol’ing” right now. But you are guilty of this trend. I am guilty of it. We are all guilty of it at some time or another. It is a conversation filler. And now, I believe, when we are actually face to face with people, we aren’t sure how to fill those gaps with intelligent conversation. For instance, we are so desperate and text dependent to hold a conversation that as I walked by a group of people at the ball park last week I heard one actually say out loud to the other: “lol.”

But they weren’t laughing.

Lol.

-Josh Peterson is the editor of the Manchester Times. He is a Tennessee Press Association award-winning writer and photographer. His column, “From the editor’s desk” won TPA first-place honors for best personal humor column. He can be reached by mteditor@lcs.net or by telephone at 931-728-7577 ext. 105. Click here to follow him on Twitter @joshpeterson29

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