It's the new year, so its time to make some obligatory New Year resolutions. This year, I resolved to do a few things differently. For one, I am going to attempt a full year without frivilous credit card spending or fast food. Both ambitious, but both necessary for a good 2009. So I am committed. The credit cards are out of my wallet, and my road trips will be fortified with Clif bars and homemade sandwiches. I can deal.
But one resolution has been harder to keep. Every day, I am compelled by an irresistable longing to conclude each sentence in an email by letting my fingers wander to some very special letters on my keyboard: LOL. I love using LOL. Okay, so I don't use it after every sentence, but it has gotten to the point where if I was indeed laughing out loud that often, I would lose my job, or at least be gently prodded to take advantage of our employee assistance program. LOL I love to laugh, but apparently I love telling people I am laughing even more.
LOL is such a quick and easy way to say, "get it?" or "you know what I am saying?" or even "wink, wink, nudge, nudge". LOL lets me add levity to a touchy situation, or convey that my opinion on so-and-so's new haircut is only meant in jest, and if confronted I would never actually say whatever I just LOLed about. Or, it is just an expression that I am not taking myself too seriously, and that my comments on the world are mostly tongue-in-cheek.
The truth is, I do laugh a lot, and I do laugh out loud. I like to laugh, and I like to make other people laugh. But lately I've started to feel that my constant use of LOL is diluting its impact. If I LOL at everything I think is even mildly amusing, maybe LOLing isn't that big of a deal. If I LOL at the drop of a hat, people might stop trying to make me LOL, and that would be a shame.
So, this year I resolve to stop overusing LOL and use it only in cases where it is absolutely necessary. Sure, others may resolve to get out of debt or volunteer more time to charity or stop stealing office supplies from their employer. But for me, developing coping mechanisms for ignoring the itch of my fingers that desperately want to type those three little taps on the keyboard will be rehabilitation enough.
What will I do instead to convey my emotions through email? I plan to begin abusing the smiley face. :)