Online Communication is Hit or Miss

I read an author’s response to a negative review recently that utilized a lot of *G*’s and *LOL*’s after a paragraph or a sentence that was suppose to relay humor or to deflect the sarcasm that reeked in her post. It was an utter FAIL because it simply wasn’t genuine. Do you all honestly think people are really *LOL* all the time when they put that in their responses? Those kinds of acronyms can be excessively overused and people like me start to wonder if it’s genuine or not (not really I have other things to worry about). The point is this: you can crouch comments/responses with *LOL* and *G* all day long, but it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that your message isn’t genuine.

Ran across this article in Wiki that says as much:

David Crystal[16] notes that use of LOL is not necessarily genuine, just as the use of smiley faces or grins is not necessarily genuine, posing the rhetorical question “How many people are actually ‘laughing out loud’ when they send LOL?”.

Franzini[2] concurs, stating that there is as yet no research that has determined the percentage of people who are actually laughing out loud when they write “LOL”.

Communication is pretty much hit or miss online. I may have read the author’s message wrong but I doubt it. There’s no hiding nasty, mean spirited responses no matter how many smiley faces you put in there. That’s for anyone who uses them as such and think you’re fooling people with it. You’re not. Why people feel compelled to use them when it’s not warranted is beyond me. This isn’t a rant per se. Maybe I’m just annoyed with nice people who love to write smiley faces and little hearts on everything.

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About Keishon

Voracious reader of just about everything.
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14 Responses to Online Communication is Hit or Miss

  1. Shannon C. says:

    It read completely passive aggressive to me. Maybe she genuinely wasn’t trying to go for that tone, but… it failed.

    And no, I don’t always literally laugh out loud when I write *LOL*. But I do try to use emoticons when I actually mean them. 🙂

  2. Kaetrin says:

    Actually, before I noticed any condescension or insults, I noticed the overuse of LOL and *G*. My back teeth were grinding after the 2nd post.

    Then I read them again and it made me think of the ‘smiling assassin’ who smiles while they insult you… (just my opinion of course!).

    I try to use *g* when I am actually grinning and LOL when I am actually laughing and use them sparingly in any event.

    I will confess I am guilty of overuse of exclamation marks however!!!! (oops, sorry! Oh damn, there I go again…)

  3. Tee says:

    That’s a tough one, because in this day and age when communication across the Internet is faceless, we need something to take the place of the emotions that show on our face and/or hands or body when we speak. When we are looking at someone in person while having a discussion, our facial expressions and body mannerisms help deliver our words in the manner they’re intended (usually).

    No so always with the written word, especially the way everyone pops off posts these days. Many are quick and much to the point because we have so many others to twitter off just ahead and we basically write and run.

    I feel there’s nothing wrong with saying or writing things with a bit of a sarcastic bent to it. That’s not usually harmful and helps gets your point across. However, sometimes we may not realize that we may be writing one thing, but the tone of the message is denoting another thing. That’s tough to always see when we’re proofing (if we even take the time to doublecheck before sending). So I see nothing wrong in using “occasional” emoticoms or (one) exclamation point or something to help send the correct mood of the message. Again, some sarcasm isn’t really all bad; but I think most people know when that line is crossed purposely.

    But, please, please, please, less is more in this case. Why 5 smiley faces when one will do? Why 7 exclamation points when one works? Why 7 “different faces” all after just one sentence? Overkill on images is almost like “I think he doth protest too much.”

  4. Avid Reader says:

    Less is more, exactly! And I use emoticons to convey what I’m feeling as well but some people just love to write their posts, messages with *g* and *lol* like it’s really necessary. Or they are just genuiely happy people (gag) and partially kidding there on the gag part. I’m just not that cheery no matter the time of day.

  5. CindyS says:

    I admit to using the ‘wink’ one so people know I’m poking fun as some people take things too much to heart.

    Sadly, I don’t know how to convey to people that something they sent me had me laughing anymore because LOL is used way too much. Now I type out ‘laughing’ hoping they know I’m sincere.

    The one I’m not struggling with is FAIL – I have no idea where it came from but I’m noticing it more and more.

  6. Tee says:

    CindyS wrote: The one I’m not struggling with is FAIL – I have no idea where it came from but I’m noticing it more and more.

    I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that, CindyS. FAIL–what does it stand for or what does it mean?

  7. CindyS says:

    “It was an utter FAIL because it simply wasn’t genuine.” From Keishon’s post.

    Tee – I think it just means that whatever someone attempted, they failed at it. I’ve seen comments like ‘Last nights Grey’s Anatomy episode FAIL’. I’m wondering if some new gizmo came out and it keeps flashing FAIL at people. Then again, it might just be the ‘new’ thing.

    cindyS

  8. Kailana says:

    sorry, off-topic, but I FINALLY got a copy of ‘The Thief’! How long ago did you tell me I should read that… It’s probably been years! It just never seemed to make it into my purchases, so I got it from the library. I am going to go pick it up in a bit. 🙂

  9. Avid Reader says:

    Kailana: sorry, off-topic, but I FINALLY got a copy of ‘The Thief’!

    Enjoy but remember, the first story is not as complex as the sequels so it may seem elementary to you but stick with it. You’ll be rewarded and the journey will be worth it. Let me know how you like it! The other two are The Queen of Attolia and The King of Attolia.

  10. Tee says:

    Thanks, Cindy and Keishon. I just wasn’t sure if I was missing something and that FAIL was an acronym (such as IMO or WTF or something like that).

  11. Lori says:

    I read the LOL-fest and cringed. Like Shannon I thought it was really passive aggressive. It also seemed incredibly unprofessional. As a reader I’m not inclined to spend my time or money on an author who can’t write clearly enough not to require a profusion of LOLs & *g*s to get her point across.

    As a semi-aside, I find it incredibly off-putting when an author publicly argues with a review and there aren’t enough LOLs in the world to soften that. I have no problem with sending a correction if a reviewer gets a fact wrong, like a character name or the location of the story. For anything else I think you just have to let it go. I understand that it’s difficult. I’m working on a master’s degree and having my writing critiqued is a huge and sometimes painful part of my program. Still, my advice is Let. It. Go.

  12. Karen Scott says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I hate excessive emoticons like supermodels hate carbs.

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