The following title caught my eye this past week: “‘Lol’ Is Dead, According To Facebook’s Research On How Users Express Laughter.” The article speaks of changing trends in online expressions of laughter. “”Lol” is so over, according to Facebook. The social media giant published data on how users express laughter online. Facebook says the most common way to express laughter online is “haha,” followed by emojis and “hehe.” Researchers say more than 51 percent of users use “haha,” 33 percent express their laughter using various emojis and a little more than 13 percent say “hehe.” According to the data, less than two percent of users say “Lol.” Facebook says younger people and women tend to prefer emojis, while men seem to like a longer form of “hehe”” (http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/)
While certainly not ground-breaking research, this study highlights how quickly trends can change in human culture. It seems like it wasn’t that long ago that I didn’t even know what ‘lol” meant (in case you are not internet-literate, ‘lol’ is online shorthand for ‘laugh out loud’). Now that I have it figured out, I learn I am again behind the curve. And, chances are, when I get up to speed on the new acronyms, the ‘net will have moved on to something else. Culture is a place where change is inevitable. Some change is good while some change is bad, depending on your perspective. Many changes (like the death of ‘lol’) are neutral and inconsequential. But it is change nonetheless.
A changing culture presents a challenge for the disciple of Jesus. How do we navigate such difficult waters? It starts by avoiding two tempting extremes. The first extreme is the tendency to avoid any change by choosing to live in the past, that golden era that exemplified life as we preferred it. The second extreme is to uncritically accept any change that comes down the pike without regard for biblical counsel. Remember, culture isn’t the enemy. It is merely the arena in which we seek to wisely serve as ambassadors for the King.
God loves you!