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Why I’m Dropping The ‘Lol’ From My Texts: I Meant What I Said, It’s Time To Own It

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCLA chapter.

We’re all guilty of it — tacking on the defensive “lol” at the end of a long text message, hoping to lighten the mood, avoid potential upset or not seem too dramatic. 

I know that I’ve always had a problem sticking up for myself, both in things that I know I deserve and in requests I want to make. So somehow, attaching the childish acronym to the end of a message circumvents some of the embarrassment or awkwardness, yet simultaneously devalues my statement altogether.

Exactly when and where this habitual accessory to the intended text originated, I’m not completely sure. But the feelings which produce it seem to be less convoluted. For the majority of my life, I’ve felt that I was too much in almost every possible capacity: too emotional, too needy, too loud, too demanding. These thoughts whisper to each other in my head as I type a message I’m even slightly nervous about sending, giving my insecurities something to fixate on.

Thus enters the protective “lol.” In my head, that request can’t possibly be viewed by its recipient as too outrageous — it’s chill, it’s cool, it’s breezy, it’s no big deal — when I add “lol” at the end. But in reality, I am simply invalidating my own authority in the situation, gaslighting myself into believing that what I’m asking for is too much and being the antagonist in my own narrative.

But what I’ve come to realize is there’s nothing wrong with speaking my truth and expressing my feelings as I genuinely feel them, even if I think they might be deemed “too much.” There’s nothing wrong with demanding respect in a situation or self-advocating when I am mistreated. Those situations should not be taken as chill, cool or breezy — because that’s not how I feel about them. I’ve become obsessed with pleasing the emotions of others in the manner that they need, so much so that I’ve neglected caring for my own. But slowly, I am learning to become more comfortable with confrontation and defending the things that matter to me. 

What I’ve also learned is that the right people will never think I am too much of anything, especially the loud and imposing things which make me, me. They will never ask me to shrink myself but instead will celebrate me for taking up space and asserting my place in the world. And these are the kinds of people I want to stick around in my life.

So, in protest, I am omitting the “lol” from the end of texts that don’t make me audibly laugh, snort or even breathe out slightly heavier through my nose than I normally would. I am no longer willing to hide behind a facade of apathy toward a situation that I clearly feel strongly about. I meant what I said — now I am going to start owning it.

Ciara is a third year UCLA student from Oakland, CA who is majoring in Public Health. She loves to travel and explore new places; especially when there's any kind of ocean involved. When she's not busy workshopping her next Her Campus article, you can find Ciara sipping her morning coffee somewhere sunny, relaxing in her hammock, or chasing a sunset.