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When I'm not writing about my experiences in this journey called 'life', I'm singing and uploading my own interpretations of modern music. Click on "Cover Songs" to hear them, or on the YouTube logo on the right to see my YouTube channel.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I Don't Speak Internet-ish

After years of text messaging, missed calling, emailing, forwarding, chatting, nudging, buzzing and smiley kissing (and that's all you'll hear about THAT), I have come to the painfully obvious conclusion that I am terrible at all of them. Well, perhaps terrible is not the right word. I'm not like one of those old ladies you see in church who, on hearing a cell phone ring during the service, stare accusingly at everyone around them for a good ten minutes before realising that the ringing is coming from their own handbag.

However, this age of digital communication annoys me. I love it, and I hate it. Being able to talk to someone halfway across the world is a great thing. Reading a text message filled with Dan Brown style code from your friend in the next room is not so great. Yet I am no technological dinosaur, I am quite adept at all the above mentioned arts. I've even developed the uncanny ability to type in the dark; this being the result of many clandestine late night online rendezvous.

But I stumbled onto a problem. Let's be honest, even though we have taken text messaging, emoticons and smileys to dizzying heights over the last 5 to 10 years, not every emotion can be represented by a key stroke. For example, there is no way to really effectively convey sarcasm through text conversations.

And sarcasm is my bread and butter!

Many times my friends have been offended by something I've typed, mainly because the only way to show them I'm being sarcastic is to actually type out "I'm being sarcastic", and let's face it - that pretty much defeats the purpose of being sarcastic.

Another problem with text conversations - we never speak the way we type. Have you ever noticed that having an online conversation with someone can 'sound' completely different from a real conversation with the person? I once was introduced to a friend but only got to spend a little time with her. However, I added her on Yahoo and we started to talk. Lo and behold, the rather mature and intelligent girl that I had met just a few weeks before had disappeared behind a stream of LOL's and hahahahahaha's and ROFL's! All I had to say was "Oh hello there!" and she would burst out in laughter and grins! Seriously, I'm not THAT funny!

In a world where Internet love is now considered to be possible and marriage proposals are made via web cam, I find myself becoming an increasingly outnumbered sceptic of it all. I for one only type "hahaha" when I'm actually laughing (or at least chuckling!). I send a grin across only when I'm actually grinning. This too has got me in endless trouble, because whenever my girlfriend starts complaining about something, I end up sending back a ':)' which is what I would do in real life, except of course it would be an 'understanding smile'. She however assumes that I find her problems funny and I am suddenly labelled insensitive. What am I supposed to do, type out "I am smiling write now with understanding at your predicament, and I am also slowly nodding my head whenever you finish typing a line to signal my agreement with your statements".

But this is my personal favourite. When someone is telling you a story, or complaining about something, you listen. I'm a good listener, if I do say so myself. I wait till they've completely vented, and I make sure that I don't interrupt and ruin their flow. Try doing that online though. After a few lines I suddenly get a "hello? are you there?!". Of course I'm here, where else would I be?? Then they continue, but they've lost their flow of thought, and now they're conscious that maybe they're boring me. Again, what do I do? Is it my fault that my well mannered silence is mistaken for a faulty Internet connection?! Ah I know - [this smiley indicates that I am listening to you with great attentiveness, while simultaneously holding your hand and saying "There, there.."].

Yes, I know there are web cams and voice chats etc, but in this day and age, asking a girl if she can switch on her web cam is the equivalent of asking her to perform a private strip show for you. I guess I'm just going to have to make some new short forms and smileys of my own.

:-y = snide sarcastic smile

\:-I = the "you are a dumbass" look

8-D = I'm looking at you, but I'm actually staring at your breasts

BE = [brain explodes]

KMN = [kill me now]

hAhAhA = [fake laughter]

I really miss you = [time to turn your web cam on]

Here's hoping these will catch on. In the meantime, I guess I'll just have to suffer.


Jerry said...

You're just like ME online! :O

I totally get what you're saying about the smileys thing.

Some people just go way overboard.
And you forgot the most awesome smileys -
Dancing smiley!

Also, ROTFBMFLFO - Rolling on the floor because my fake limbs fell off

Some day I'll get famous for inventing a machine that can stab people in the face over the internet.

Sabby said...

"...many clandestine late night online rendezvous."


That's all I have to say about THAT!

And also, I am so sick of people going 'Really?' when I am sarcastic that I have resolved not to be so online anymore. *grumble*

Foxhound said...

Gotta agree with you on this one.

Its the very reason I just stay away from IM-ing. I cant stand the friggin stuff.

Also really with you on the sarcasm part.

realskullzero said...

Dude totally agree with you...but then again... Some see chatting more conveneint as it allows them to talk to several ppl simultanoiously...

I hate multiple convos..bloody annoyin and takes ur friggin time off and wnt let u don ny thin else, as a slight eye movement will throw you right off the topic...

Ny wys some awesome smilies u ve got there man... hahaa...KMN..patta!!

Gehan said...

jerry: hilarious! :D good luck wit tat machine...! u'll be catering to a huge clientele i am sure!

sabby: Really?!? :D (btw, wats so "oooh" abt my clandestine late nite rendezvous huh? dnt be jealous :P)

foxhound: glad to see im not alone on this one! :)

realskullzero: oh def, i agree its a big plus point as i said in da post, but jus these lil things which are annoying! yes, try n spread da smilies etc :D

FINroD said...

hahahah OMG this was awesome!! im soo gonna use 8-D alot!!! hahahahaha

Sabby said...

Just dropping by to say Hi too! =)

Baby Z said...

I guess you don't understand ebonics either.

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