the problem with lol

i hate internet slang. i remember when i first read ‘lol’ back in the late 90’s on ICQ. i thought it was the dumbest thing i ever heard. then came ‘lmao’ and ‘roflmao,’ each successively worse than its predecessor. the only consolation i had was knowing that when bill wrote them, he definitely wasn’t rolling on the floor, laughing his ass off. he was probably just smirking that weird smirk of his. i found some sort of wry humour in that. bill’s so weird.

but now, after many years of e-communications, i find that lol is a legit abbreviation. i hate texting “haha, i actually lol’d” on my flip phone. it takes about an hour.

“this is a huge pain in the ass. lol”

i should be able to just write “lol” and have it mean “laughing out loud.” but the problem is that the definition of lol seems to have changed over the years. i don’t think it’s literal anymore. now i see most people use it as conversation punctuation, a way to simply acknowledge a communication. like:

me: “gotta head to the store.”

you: “lol”


me: “oh man do i feel sick”

you: “lol”

and those just don’t make sense. neither of my statements are funny, and certainly not laugh out loud funny. it’s like people now write ‘lol’ instead of ‘ok’ or ‘i acknowledge what you have said.’

i also notice people use ‘lol’ to lighten the tone of their texts, like:

“that movie fucking sucked, lol”

again, not funny. no one is laughing so why not just write “that movie fucking sucked” and leave it at that? you certainly don’t need to lighten shit up for my approval. i like bitterness and frustration.

these variations on the use of lol really piss me off because now when i write it, it isn’t understood in the literal way that i intend it, the way that it was originally created. it’s been bastardized. i end up having to actually explain that i really am laughing out loud, and that’s a pain in the fucking ass.

so this is me hoping that when i write ‘lol’ in the future, my friends will know that i’m not just being polite or acknowledging their last statement. i actually mean that i’m fucking laughing.


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