“Lol” is the most passive and trite term in the texting and digital landscape. That’s not to say abbreviating you laughed out loud is meaningless though, as it can take on many implications from its placement: almost none of which include I found what you said to be funny.
Fast forward to the now and I still don’t know when the hell to throw down a LOL. I mean, when was the last time you typed “LOL” and were actually, physically laughing out loud? It’s rare that one laughs out loud during a typed conversation, but it seems that LOL is thrown around quite gratuitously.
bahahah: You’re a male programmer with a pony tail who’s generally seen as weird/ creepy/ nerdy by your IRL peers and as either a “guru” or a tyrannical dick by your fellow elitist programmers in IRC. You may also employ “mwhahahah.”
Today is boring. Here are some funny videos to spice it up.
“lol”: The context clue they’re sending is that this conversation is not only NOT funny, but also over.
Your bro IMs you being like ‘sup’ and you respond ‘hang on, I’m in the middle of something at work’ and they reply ‘lol.’ Or you get an IM like ‘how are you,’ and you go ‘I’m okay, sick of the rain’ and they reply ‘lol,’ or you say ‘I’m good’ and they say ‘lol.’
For example, when I type (say?) lol, I’m often signaling to the other person that I’m about to tell them something light or amusing. In real life, my tone of voice would serve this purpose. Other times I’m just adding the lol to take the edge off.
People definitely use LOL when they LOL. I don’t doubt it. But it has also become a scapegoat. Sometimes there is so much LOLing going on I wonder how anyone could possible be getting through their day without being committed for hysteria. We just don’t do it that often.
So I was checking Grindr and I saw you there. Sent you a message. LOL. Smiley and eggplant emoji.
This is serious business, people.