all of the selves we Have ever been
I am convinced that AI
is the next life form.
Technology is getting out of control as we willingly turn over our human superpowers to machines. The faculties that placed human beings at the top of the food chain are slowly disappearing, abilities such as reasoning, calculating, problem solving, planning, and decision making. As our primal brains take control over our rational minds, language is disappearing as well. With all of the acronyms and abbreviations, we soon will be grunting like Neanderthals.
Apparently, telephones are no longer for conversation. I am meeting more parents who tell me that their school-age children do not like to talk on the phone because talking makes children anxious. They prefer all communication to be via text messaging.
With rapid, acronym-filled text messages, we are at the end of substantive communication. Deep meaning is to be found in expressions such as WTF, CWOT, EM?, IDK, IDC, and SEP.
I grew up in a world of “use your words,” and I’m still trying to get straight with POTUS, FLOTUS, and SCOTUS. But it’s a DIY world, and I will have to learn this new language on my own. What frightens me is the room for error and misunderstanding. For example, if you text your boss LOL will that be assumed to be laughing out loud or lots of love? B3 can be a vitamin, an electric guitar, or a rock band. B3 can also stand for blah, blah, blah. Was my nurse practitioner ordering me a vitamin, inviting me to a rock concert, or giving me the brush off?
Acronym-illiterate as I am, I am grateful my own children are grown because there is an entire shorthand vocabulary devoted to KPC (or keeping parents clueless). It includes P911, PAL, PAW, PIR, and POS. If you have children and have no idea what all of this means, then your children will be ROTFL at what they’ve just pulled off.
And as someone who is old-fashioned and still strives to be on time, I am forced to wrestle with both my covered wagon and the many acronyms for time including: 2moro, 2nte, AEAP, ALAP, ASAP, B4YKI, BRB, BRT, CUS, CYT, EOD, L8R, N-A-Y-L, OMW, RN, and EOBD. I never thought I’d say this, but thank God for stay-at-home orders. I am glad there is no place to go because I have no idea what time I should be there.
There is another vocabulary for our closer relationships, if texting can be considered intimate communication. There is BFF, a title for someone closer than an FOAF, and there are greetings and closings such as HAK, ILU or ILY, IMU, and KFY. Somehow I just can’t feel the love in ILU. But maybe a cute, dancing emoji will fill the bill. Nothing says I love you like a grunt and a cave drawing.
RU following me on all of this? JC. NTIM.
The more I struggle with this new vocabulary, the more anxious I become. I guess those talk-averse children have a point. It is a scary world when you don’t understand the language.
SITD but CUL8R.