I don't know what "LOL" means. But do I really need to know?
I am no luddite but I don't text, which is probably why I don't fully appreciate the meanings of many of the acronymns used in communicating on today's handheld technology devices.
In general, is it more detrimental personally and/or professionally to be deficient in the use of acronymns and texting abilities or to be proficient in this shortcut communication ? As is the case with many activities, the application is subjective and there is usually a healthy balance to be found for each individual; if the given activity rises above or below this point of balance, there is a diminishing effect.
I was extremely slow, for example, to embrace Facebook and Twitter but I have thus far found a means of making them useful tools without succumbing to the addicting and distracting nature of such social media.
As of this moment, however, I hope I never find it necessary to text either personally or professionally. In fact, I feel a sense of pride when sitting in a room of business people, all with their Blackberrys, iPhones and Droids sitting in front of them, constantly being distracted by a barrage of shorthand messages, while I sit calmly with my 4-year old flip phone resting peacefully in my pocket.
"Men commonly think according to their inclinations, speak according to their learning and imbibed opinions, but generally act according to custom." ~ Francis Bacon
What compelled me to write on the subject of texting is a combination of my recent postings on language and a headline article I saw on Yahoo last week, titled OMG, when did we start talking like txt msgs. As a curious observer, I am fascinated by the liquidity of language. I also completely understand and expect children and teenagers to playfully adopt and apply slang terms as their own personal communication with eachother. Acronymns and abbreviations can be useful but where is the point at which they begin to diminish in value and become more of a distraction than an efficiency?
Like many philosophical observations and dialogues, "the truth" lies within yourself; therefore, dear reader, I will not so arrogantly suggest what is the proper use of acronymns in communication. Personally, I believe language, like money, is a tool but only you can be the driver. Additionally, the way in which you use it is a reflection on you as an individual. There are prudent uses of money and foolish uses of money just as there are prudent uses of language and foolish uses of language.
Once my young boys become teenagers, I will likely find reason to learn their language so I can communicate with them. Beyond that application, however, I will happily avoid the use of abstractions and acronyms for the same reasons that I believe the desire for finding shortcuts, although human, is more often self-defeating than otherwise.
In the mean time, I find it difficult to imagine a message containing OMG! can appear intelligent in almost any context.
Of course, that's IMHO.....