Friday, March 13, 2009

Twitter Only! LOL!

I remember several years ago, when e-mail first reared it’s ugly head, a co-worker mentioned to me that she didn’t like to use e-mail because she was worried about people misunderstanding the “tone” of her communication. “E-mail is so impersonal and you can’t always be sure how someone meant something. I’d much rather talk to them on the phone or face-to-face.” Wonder if she uses Twitter? I think the widespread use of emoticons and LOL are part of an ongoing crusade to make certain our meaning is clear and not misinterpreted by our recipient. Or, maybe it’s to take the edge off what we really meant and keep the person from reacting unfavorably. If you write cryptically but add a “LOL,” you must be joking because you're laughing out loud. Better yet, forget the e-mail altogether and write all your messages with 140 characters or less and send them to several people at once being sure to include a tiny URL for those wanting more information or clarification. It's hard to find much hidden meaning in a couple of sentences ending with a ;-)

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Karen Montgomery is the author of Gomeric Hill. The opinions expressed herein are mine and not necessarily those of my employer.