It’s a problem we as a society are facing and it’s only going to get worse.
Even those who claim to be spared will wake up one day and realize they aren’t spared after all.
It’s a challenge here, in our first world country, and it’s not easy.
You do your routine check up on Facebook. You see a friend posted a picture of a beautiful sunset on whatever magical island she escaped to.
She’s a pretty good friend.
One you lose touch with every now and then, but thankfully Facebook catches you when that happens.
You want to show you are still in touch. And you want to show you are genuinely happy for her vacation, although you’re really feeling green with envy.
So you hit comment.
You start typing “wow!” when you realize the 8 comments above say the same thing, some with three !!! and some with only one; but either way, it feels too scripted to also say “wow!” even if you add another four exclamation points for good measure.
So you opt for “Amazing!!”– double !! to show you really mean it and you’re a closer friend than the others.
But just as you are typing it, some phantom commenter slips ahead of you and says “Amazing!!” With the double !!. Now what!?
Ah-perfect solution. You are a closer friend.
You really mean it.
So you quickly type “WOW-Amazing!!” and one-up all the other commenters.
See, you really are a good friend.
But then it gets harder.
It’s someone’s birthday.
Whoops, you had forgotten.
It’s a close friend but not closest friend but certainly close enough that you don’t want to give away the fact that you’ve forgotten it.
So you race to their wall – ignoring the fact that Facebook reminded you, link to wall included – and go for it.
You’re going to post a Happy Birthday.
Gulp, you’re #16 in line.
That does not make you look like a very good friend.
Or like you remembered on your own.
You go for CAPS, half a dozen exclamation points and call in the reserves – you add a cake, a party hat and some confetti 🎂🎉🎊.
There, now you’ve done it. Proved your friendship and your memory.
I can’t help but wonder, how were we ever able to express our deepest feelings and sentiments without having an emoji to prove it?
The thought that maybe all these years people have been reading my texts and emails wrong is just too overwhelming to think about😩😩!
How would someone possibly know you went for a haircut if they didn’t see this 💇??
Or that a picture of a friend eating ice cream is really eating an ice cream and nothing else if it didn’t include 🍦🍧.
I mean, I can tell people I’m happy but when they see 😀😃😄 then they know I’m really having a good day.
How did anyone ever show shock or surprise without the help of this little guy 😮😲
Then there’s the LOL. That is a bit more complex.
Well, depends how funny the said statement is.
Sometimes it warrants a polite lol. Not that funny.
Then there’s the things that really tickle you that you actually chuckle, to which you respond LOL.
And then there’s the stuff that’s really hilarious and you LOL!! Followed by 😂- and laugh loud enough for everyone in the quiet room to turn around to give you a look or loud enough to blow your cover and your kids come running, having discovered you’re looking at your phone. And if you get a LOL with this guy 😂- and multiple !!! definitely start looking into doing standup comedy.
How about the random message you get that says how are you.
In other words, just saying hi because i feel guilty we are out of touch but I’m not really interested in the answer.
But what about if it says how are you? Punctuation included; this nuance goes a long way. I’m being polite and dropping you a line.
But if you’re really genuine, then you go heavy on the punctuation. How are you?!?!?
Have you ever had a friend posts a picture of her adorable two year old covered from head to toe in toothpaste.
The kid is really adorable – especially because it’s not your kid and you are not the one cleaning up the toothpaste.
“So cute!” you’re about to type.
But that doesn’t sound real enough. I mean, this is your friend’s kid, not just a random kid.
“Oh my, hilarious!” Nah, you can do better if you really mean it.
“Love love love” followed by 😍, and a few more 💗💗💗 to show the mom you feel for her, having to scrub off that gook.
There, that looks genuine.
One of your friends posts a birth announcement.
Yikes, how did you not know she was pregnant, could it be you were out of touch that long?
Now is not the time to publicly show that.
There’s a picture of the 14 minute old baby, making her debut.
Well, all you can see is the tiny nose and scrawny hands sticking out of the ugly hospital blanket.
“Ohhhh precious!” you’re about to chime in.
Even though the past 96 people say the same thing.
And really, the scrawny hands, the tiny squished nose…
You keep it safe and stick with the “ohhh precious!” as it seems to work for everyone else.
A friend is angry. The friend is venting to the world that she got stuck behind a slow car on the way to somewhere important and then came late and spilled her coffee on her new shirt. There’s probably details to the story missing, like that this friend also left late, but now is not the time to ask such questions.
I mean, this is really a hard spot – they definitely need support. That’s what we are all there for. To support each other through good times and bad.
Poor friend. You want to show her some support.
A generic “hugs!” is not enough for such a crisis.
You opt for the “hugs!” but an extra !!, and then this guy 👹👹to show you’re also angry at the slow driver she was stuck behind because it’s that drivers fault this all happened and then a 🍺 to show you understand the deeper meaning and relationship of that cup of coffee.
Hardest of all are the times that you really don’t know what the poster is trying to say. You don’t know if they are happy or angry, if the food is good or bad, if they are bragging or complaining – you just can’t make heads or tails out of it. And that’s what this is for. Hit the like button and move on. You acknowledged, you showed your presence, and your good to go.
Yes, it’s a tough world out there. And it’s only gonna get tougher💪.
Oh, and about #9?
There is no number nine.
But how else are you supposed to get anyone to read anything these days.