BY ELLA STEINBECK
Are you a toddler, cave man, or modern human?
Every time I receive a smiley face or thumbs up I cringe a little. I know it’s common and people seem to like them but they are just not for me. I use words instead. I spent a zillion years learning them. I’m going to stick with them. Thank you pre-school, elementary school, middle school and high school. You did good!
By the way, I’m not big on the usage of Xs or Os either. I don’t want to X or O anyone I wouldn’t actually want to hug or kiss in person. It’s bizarre. People even use them in business emails and texts. I don’t think these same people would use them in a phone conversation. I try to imagine what that would be like if they did. I would get a voicemail like this: “Hi Ella, This is Dr. Bergsteinbaum. We have your lab results. Could you please call the office? Take care. SMOOOOOOOCH SMOOOOOOCH SMOOOOOOCH thumbs up-smiley face- slice of pizza –dog-cat-frowny face.”
I don’t want you to send me pictures of cartoons making faces. Just tell me you’re glad or think I did something cool. I’d appreciate an emotion spelled out like “that makes me happy” or “big thumbs-up for being awesome.” I know how to express my emotions with words and still prefer, “ I’m really laughing hard hahahahaha” to “LOL.” As toddlers we learned our words with pictures. Angry. Happy. Sad. Goat. Cow. Apple. Banana. Red. Blue. I graduated from www.BforBall.com and was told to “use your words” and now you are asking me to use symbols again.
The Egyptians and cave dwellers both used symbols and pictures. Can this regression, this de-evolution, be stopped? Technology has disrupted grocery shopping with Fresh Direct, how we get a ride with Uber, and now it wants us to advance so far that we can move back to the very basics and have the skill set of an ape.
Language is a gift. Primitive cultures still exist that haven’t created the words for “right” and “left.” But we have. I don’t want to lose that. We are already at a point that we can’t use grammar properly and only spell phonetically. But who cares? We have spell check and if that doesn’t work you can always send an elaborate combination of mountains, skis, champagne bottles and airplanes. In fact, this whole thing has gotten me so crazy that I need to take trip. You’ll know where I am when you get a text that says “Tree. Sun. Boat. Me. Go. Kiss Kiss Hug Hug Winky Face~ Ella”