The language we elect to use says volumes about us as people. To paraphrase Gauguin, that language can reveal who we were, what we are, where we are going. Reading a sentence someone writes--any sentence--can be a window into their soul. Their make-up. The qualities that define them as an individual, that mark them as an honest-to-goodness-human-person distinct from anyone else. A person who cuts no corners, who grows, who believes in themselves, who wishes to connect at a real level of who they are, not as a perfunctory rider on the Human Being Express.
There has been a lot of talk on social media in the past day about emojis. I will not associate with someone who writes in emojis or acronyms. Granted, I've realized over the years that maybe 1% of the population even knows what the word "acronym" means. I think when you choose not to use your words, you are choosing to lop off some of your individuality. You are not leading with you. You are not going with you. You're substituting who you are, your personal modes and styles of observation and communication, for tropes that could come from anyone. You're objectifying yourself. You're dehumanizing yourself. You are de-individualizing. You're saying that you're not good enough, you, unique you, and any old words or symbols will do. You are removing your voice. And I think that's wrong, I think it's lazy. A voice is as vital as anything in this life. It's up there with hope, with connection, and it plays a central role in the fostering of hope and connection.
When I see people communicate in symbols and emojis, I often know that they are not seekers. They don't search. You cut corners in one place, you're likely to cut them not just somewhere else, but everywhere else. I can scarcely imagine ceding over my individual voice, which is your birthright as a human, that which makes you you, in large part, for a picture of a winking smiley face, or a pepper. I think a person should be better than that. They should be a smart, unique adult, and since we're not in each other's bodies, how we communicate is how we convey the manner and make of smart, adult human that we are to another person. Often. It's not the only way, but it is the root way.
You deny yourself when you communicate stock cartoon pictures. They say so little. They are general, they are not specific, they lack for that adjective that only you would use to describe whatever you might be describing, and it is that adjective that can make us love someone, be their friend, ask them to be there for us, think about them as we have not before. Or see the world differently. These are the very beats of human confluence.
Not once in my life have I used an emoji or an acronym, save sometimes in a story. For instance, I wrote one a couple weeks back that plays out in a YouTube comments section. A man is dying and he's listen to a piece of music, and he tells you what's happening to him, and this whole story unfolds. And people are commenting. Some are trolling him. And so you have that text speak. I've never used the word "Google" as a verb. Not once. I make a choice to live my life a certain way, to be a person of depth and honor and character, to refrain as best I can from the cutting of corners, to show who I am as a distinct, unique individual, because packs run, but individuals connect.
I realize that this isn't pragmatic in terms of meeting people, but my aim is not to meet people--if we're talking in the romantic sense--but to meet the right brilliant, brave, dynamic, talented, articulate person for me. And for this. For all that is happening here and will happen in future. I used to have a friend who just encouraged me to go fuck lots of women, because I could, and all ages, with the whole good-looking, brilliant person, cultured sporty guy thing. But I never wanted that. I receive a note and it is littered with the symbols and no words, and I'm out. I just can't do it. I want you. You you you. Who you are. Not the cartoon symbols everyone uses. I want to know you. Always. And when you deny someone your endemic words, your effort to put yourself over, to put a thought over, an idea over, you rob us of the essence of human bonding. You can be a fine person, and you are likely who I write for, and these words can be all for you. All my words, everywhere. But in my personal life, I just couldn't do that. Not with a friend, or the person I'd have by my side. I'd need them. Their words, their thoughts, their ideas, as close to unvarnished as they could be and I could experience them and we could subsequently experience each other. I don't want to see a little photo of a banana. I don't think it's smart, witty, I don't think it conveys anything. it gives me no insight. And it certainly gives me no particular insight that is native to you or what you are feeling or thinking or going through. What you see. I think it's a barrier, and it's indicative of lazy writing, and lazy thinking, and lazy talking, and lazy humaning. I think you owe it to yourself as a person to better to yourself than that. As for the time it saves, I don't buy that argument, and when we extrapolate this kind of behavior--because it does have other iterations in other aspects of life--there's just so much wasted movement, so much damn periphery, and usually so little moving forward. To move forward requires a specificity of soul, purpose, mind. You try to do your very best, to be fully present, in everything you do. And if you cut corners on communication, the foundation of so much, I think you do yourself a disservice.