There are a number of things you would do on a first chat date or any chat for that matter, that would give me the worst impression of you ever and always! Mind you, these are just my thoughts based on what I perceive the words to mean. I would totally love to hear your take on them, so maybe I can make an informed re-evaluation or re-think. So here goes,
1. “Sup”: “Sup”? Like really? To think that it is the supposed lazy and short hand form of “what’s up?”, it is not a phrase for every chat… more especially, not at the beginning, middle, or end. Basically, it doesn’t fit anywhere, in some kind of conversations. You can’t ask me “what’s up” if I don’t owe you any gist, or feedback… it just doesn’t sum up. Worse still, when you “sup” on a first get-to-know-you chat, I think it sends a lot of wrong vibes!
2. “Dear”: Now, I know ‘m not the only one that feels some way about this word, and the numerous other endearments that abound. You don’t “dear” someone you are chatting with for the very first time, especially when it is someone of the opposite sex! Even worse (and this is for the ladies), someone of the same sex. I mean you never know who is who. Accessibility is a gift, don’t misuse it! Endearments are just what they are. Words you use to show that someone means something to you. Mother/Father to child; Mentor to Mentee; Padi to Padi. I mean, relationships go through stages. And there are do’s and dont’s at every stage. You don’t go using words of comfort with someone who is just tolerating your presence. Really. Some people are in your life, just because. Keep it simple, straight-to-the-point, and done with!
3. “K”: You can do a lot of things with me online, use stupid smiley faces, use shorthand texts… but please, not “K” or “KK”. Mbok, why?! Hahaha! At the very start, I used to get really mad over this shorthand form of the word “Okay”. I mean, it is a mood-killer; a total deal-breaker. And it gets worse where you’ve typed in a very long and interesting epistle, say to your boss at work- giving him feedback on some errand he sent you-, and he replies with a “K”. How would you feel? Irate? Exactly! Me too. I just would never understand who, what and why this word exists in many chats these days.
Now if you use any of those words in the afore-mentioned contexts, say “Present”!
There’re more words that just outrightly annoy, irritate or dampen my mood; but these are the few I can think of now. I don’t understand what the problem is, or why a lot of us no longer find joy in going the extra mile to communicate as correctly and clearly as possible, simply because it’s the online space; and it affects us, consciously or unconsciously in other spheres of our lives… I imagine that back in the days, our parents took the pains to be eloquent even as they inked their words on paper, sending news to loved ones at home and abroad. But it’s not the case these days… our messages lack content, and the contents lack coherence; not because we don’t know how to go about these things, but more because we are lazy about it!
It’s fine to be funky with words, and get creative… but essentially, if it’s worth doing at all, it’s maybe worth doing really well. Maybe it’s just me, but I imagine that the manner and structure of words sometimes, goes a long way to express how genuine the message is.
Instead of “Sorry”, why not “I’m Sorry”
Instead of “Sup”, why not “Hey/Hello/Hi”
Instead of “How far!”, why not “How do you do?”
Don’t get me wrong. There’s a time and place for every kind of word; and even the slangs and colloquial terms. All ‘m saying is, understand the timing and space— and more, appreciate the person, and occasion. You don’t have to be an award- winning author, or Nobel laureate to do that… all it requires is “awareness” and “consciousness”.
Drops her pen, and resumes her breakfast of Akamu and Bread.
© The Short Black Girl, 2015.