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Honoring my Mother | The conversation protocol

Safe to say, with most of the population hung-up on the internet, language is “alive and well”, if one could call it that. In social media alone, if one took the time to pore through the threads of comments and conversations, it might, at first glance, look as though people spoke in tongues already. New slang crop up faster than internet providers’ services, borne of the aggregation where one generally belongs and identifies with. The alienating effect of being in the middle of such chats is almost akin to hearing a private joke, and you’re just an outsider wearing a visitor’s ID.

This has become quite a net-induced phenomenon: near-exclusive lingo spoken by each tribe (because that’s what we are really today, back to that basic delineation, tribes). Each tribe or sector, like the young for example, has come up with their own distinct speak. This does not even include the commonly-used conversation additives, like acronyms (lol), puns, or even gaytalk, plus throwback slangs by earlier generations, etc. Regarded as structural, there are others who prefer to go fr shortcuts, whereby mutilating words, as though they were in a hurry 2 get sumtings done. Then not to be missed out of course, is the declarative use of emotive icons or emoticons, which, in a click or so, conveys a single sentiment represented through so-called emojis.

However, all these, as mentioned earlier, are merely structural quirks to the worldwide chat. All it does is drive home the message that communications is a dynamic living thing, much like the ones who exercise it. As such, everyone might just as well just accept it as the new normal.

The question remains however, do old conventions of dialogue still apply in this evolving and reformatted talk universe?

A few years ago, in the middle of writing, a message popped up on my screen. My message option hasn’t been activated then (they are now), so I took him on. For every query, all he got were curt replies, as I explained I had been working. On it went, until the space between responses became much longer, and eventually, he gave up. But not without saying first that I had been rude.

I wonder, has the impersonal reality of not conversing face to face made innocent talk intrusive? While it may be true that one may, at times, not feel like talking and thus choose to ignore people, the same sentiment can also apply with friends, especially when one is preoccupied or more important, just prefers to be silent. In this case, respecting other people’s spaces needs to be placed first before any attempt at dialogue. There are some people whom, inasmuch as I wanted to reach out to for talk, do the same number on me, just like I did on that friend. No big deal. Whether one likes it (or else), you just have to grin, bear it, and bite the painful bullet, because that’s what respecting their space is really all about.

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