Abbreviated emotions

Posted on June 16, 2010 in Specials

Arastu Jowher:

Me: “Good morning. Hope you are fine. Have a great day. Take care. Be happy J”

‘Friend’: “Gm ttyl tc”

Amongst the many mixed outcomes of Facebook and SMSes, is that of abbreviated emotions, abbreviated thoughts and thus abbreviated relationships. If the good morning message quoted at the beginning wasn’t hurtful enough, every day one can see hundreds of such lame and lazy conversations all over the Internet and in SMSes (Thankfully, this disease has not contaminated verbal conversations as of yet).

If ‘wassup’ (Also the name of a daily programme on a highly commercialized, capitalist and popular Youth channel) meaning ‘What’s up’, ‘gotcha’ — ‘Got you’, ‘wanna’ — ‘Want to’ were the first symptoms of this deadly illness, then symptoms like ‘brb’ – ‘Be right back’, ‘ttyl’ – ‘Talk to you later’ and a recently discovered ‘bmj’ – ‘Bhaad me jaa’ have signaled the spread of this epidemic. Even an emotion as pure and scarce as happiness is abbreviated as ‘lol’ — ‘Laugh out loud’ [Sometimes misinterpreted as ‘lots of love’. Thankfully love is not one of this disease’s victims so far (apart from ‘ilu’ — ‘I Love You’, but that is used to hide love from our anti-love Society)], ‘ROFL’ means ‘rolling on floor laughing’, ‘LMAO’ means ‘laughing my ass off’ and ‘LMFAO’ (an aberration of an aberration) meaning ‘laughing my fucking ass off’. Not even he who is claimed to be the ‘almighty’ is spared, ‘omg’ means ‘Oh my God!’ and atheists or depressed theists make their discontent visible here as well by using one more aberration – ‘omfg’ (You guess it). Of course, the good old ‘tc’ (Take care) is always omnipresent.

Words that convey one’s feeling for the other at different times of the day like ‘Good Morning’ and ‘Good Night’ haven’t been spared either with days starting with ‘gm’ and ending with ‘gn sd’ (Sweet dreams). Also note the lowercase form of all these abbreviations. Why should we even press an extra button to give a word or letter the uppercase respect it deserves? “Doli me bithake, sitaaron se sajake, zamaane se churake, le jaunga, saawariya” par ungli hilake full-forms kyu likhunga. Quite apart from murdering and insulting a beautiful language, emotions and relationships are brutally and inhumanly abused and demeaned every single moment.

It is no veiled truth that this disease has contaminated almost all youngsters (who can afford the luxuries of high-tech communication) but thankfully very few grown-ups have been diagnosed with this highly fatal condition. What is it that drives us youngsters to such painfully peculiar extremes? Is it our love of short-cuts or our ever-decreasing love of relationships or does this signal the end of respect for love itself? Or is it our immaturity? I think it is a combination of all of these being topped off by the same old reason — not really caring much, not thinking about what one does, simple ignorance or disinterest even in ourselves and our own deeds.

I wouldn’t even like to go inside the other contents of our forwarded messages for if a majority of the fowarded SMSes circulated within a country were reflective of the country’s collective IQ, then God help India. I think it is wishful thinking to hope that this disease is a temporary infatuation of today’s youngsters like Aamir Khan’s ‘Pehla nasha’ in ‘Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar’ and will pass away with time and elusive maturity. So preserve your pre-disease past in the form of memories and embrace yourselves for a much bigger epidemic in the future:

-         EARLIER: “Good morning. Have a nice day. Take care of yourself”

-          NOW: “gn sd tc ttyl”

-          SOON: Blank message (Why should I even take the pain of using my golden fingers to type anything?)

-         THE FUTURE: No message (You should have guessed that I was thinking about you)

As for me, well what can I say. I don’t mind being the lone idealist in a World where people will omg, omfg, lol, rofl, lmao and lmfao at me. All I wanna say to them is gn sd tc & u can all BMJ.

The writer is a correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz.