I’m a pretty tech-savvy twenty-something. I did the iPhone update as soon as it came out, I upload, I download, and I have fairly active WordPress account, which is linked to my FaceBook and my Tumblr. I Tweet, I Pin, I worship the X Pro II filter, and, judging by the constant requests in my gMail, I apparently have a LinkedIn account. In general, for someone who works in an industry where they majority of business is written with shitty, stolen ballpoint pens on cheap-ass white paper and conducted in cash (I’m talking serving dinner, not slinging dope, mind you), I think I’ve done a damn good job of educating myself on social media platforms.
So imagine my millennial confusion when I logged into Instagram the other day and there was yet another new fucking hashtag: #WCW.
I’m not saying that when I’m writing or messaging online, I’m crafting properly indented, flawlessly punctuated prose poems, featuring adjectives culled from dictionary.com’s “Word of the Day” blasts. “OMG!” is as ingrained into my daily vocabulary as “bellig” or “sode”. I’ll even drop a “K” if I’m about to get caught with my phone at work, an “LOL” if the occasion fits, though I do lean more towards “haha”; I feel it signifies that I did, perhaps, titter to myself a tiny bit, whereas the former suggests an outright laugh, which is so rare these days, especially a situation like this:
Me: YOOOOO let’s go OUUUUUUUT
Friend: LOLOL ok
On a side note, to fully illustrate how stupid text language is, were this text exchange written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, it would look like this:
“Hellooooo!” I cried at the top of my lungs. My friend stood on the West side of Fifth Avenue and I on the East; we remained separated by ferocious platoons of yellow cabs. They careened down the aorta of Manhattan as the rain cascaded from gray skies, making me think of summers in my old hometown full of drunkards, damsels, and oil pioneers in Western Mississippi. “We simply MUST sit down for a DRINK!” I watched nature’s response to a sweltering heat wave pour down upon my friend, who was guffawing, raucously, relentlessly, forehead to pavement as she shook with laughter in a way that made me fear and envy her. Finally, I saw her head nod in assent. The light changed, and we headed off to the Yale Club.
I understand that abbreviations have become an if not indispensable than at the very least ubiquitous part of social media. Since it’s a fast-moving world, we can’t have constant tutorials. And I’ve had many a situation in which I found myself at a loss of words due to people’s refusal to use them: FOMO, YOLO, LYLAS, TBT. When you’re learning a foreign language, it is said that context is the best way to ascertain the definition of an unknown word.
FOMO was easy because I read it in an article specifically about how people should stop having FOMO; though it was never defined, the article was about how we get so obsessed with what everyone else is doing that we don’t do anything cool ourselves, this crippling fear (…of missing out…) is ruining our ability to live in the present. In other words, if we have FOMO, we cannot, therefore, YOLO; I figured that one out because it was generally slapped across a picture of some bro doing something idiotic like jumping off a cliff or planking on the third rail. LYLAS flipped me out; I read it in an email and thought my friend’s autocorrect had misspelled my name. Oh autocorrect, I love you like a sister. TBT was actually the easiest, which is ironic because it’s most similar to the damn WCW that’s throwing me for a loop. There were baby pictures…it was Thursday…Bingo.
But WCW. I’m seeing it with pictures of girls. Women? Women Could Win? They’re not all winning. What Cool Woman? That makes no sense. White Collar Woman? Woman Cool Wednesday? It was a Wednesday, so that’s gotta be right. Way Cool Wednesday? Wacky Crazy Wednesday? But what about the women? Women Check Wednesday? Illogical. White Collar Wednesday? That’s sounds like a happy hour where they only serve Fernet Branca and douchey bourbon cocktails. What Crap Wednesday? Wang Chung Wednesday?
Seriously though. WTF? I legitimately have no idea what this could mean. Or, for that matter, why it’s necessary. I get that time-saving devices are tantamount to success in this day and age. And humans are resistant to change:I bet people had a conniption when the contraction was invented (you want us to drop the Os? Scandal!) But this one is really throwing me for a loop.
I guess I’ll have to suffer till next Wednesday, when I’ll be able to do a bit more analysis on the subject. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to hit the bowl and take some selfies, because as far as I’m concerned, it’s Fucked Up Friday.