Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Upon My Soapbox

I'm sure I've mentioned before that I simply do not understand my peers. I don't understand the drinking, the complete lack of motivation, the disregard for others, and the self-involvement that others my age seem to endorse. To be clear, I understand that this is a sweeping generalization. I know several early-twenty-somethings that are high-functioning, upstanding and fairly mature member of society. I call these people my friends. However, the stigma attached to my generation is a fairly accurate one. 
Now, in the past couple of days, something has been brought to my attention that I'd like to go on a verbal tirade about discuss.
Here's a bit of a back story about what brought my thoughts to the topic at hand:
A few days ago, my great grandmother passed away.
The following day, a young man that played on the rugby team I coached for a few years ago passed away during a match. This young man was the younger brother of one of my players.

Upon hearing the news of my great grandmother's death, friends and family shared their condolences and love via telephone, cards, facebook messages and stopping in. While I appreciated these kind words, at the time, I didn't think much of the way in which they were delivered. 
"My condolences for the loss."
"I'm sorry to hear about your loss."
"My love and prayers are with your family at this time."
...and other such thoughts were expressed to us in the aforementioned ways.

After hearing about Matt's death, there was an email sent out to members of the Fort Collins rugby community explaining what had happened and expressing the sorrow that what felt in his passing. After reading the responses to this email and checking Matt's brother's facebook wall, I was absolutely in awe of the difference in the way people were expressing their condolences to Matt's family. When I say people, I mean those in my age group and younger. Messages were sent saying things along the lines of:
"OMG im so sorry!"
"That sucks, dude, seriously."
"im sooooooo sorry!"

Now, maybe I'm being nit picky, but I could not believe the casual manner of the latter expressions. If there was sincerity behind those words, I certainly couldn't feel it. 
Is eloquence an art lost to this and upcoming generations? Are social networking sites making it all too easy for us to lose any semblance of grammar, not to mention etiquette, structures?
Am I being pretentious? It's entirely possible. I have no qualms with a language shifting, changing, and progressing to fit a progressive society. Unfortunately, I believe that the language brought upon us by the ease of communication is a regression.  Words are a powerful tool to be used in expressing thoughts, ideas, concepts and feelings. When used well, we can adequately express most of the aforementioned with honesty and sincerity.
This has gotten verbose.
What I'm trying to say, really, is that while "my condolences" may seem cliche and overused, it sure beats the hell out of  "OMG dude, that totes sucks! im srsly soooooo sorry."


1 comment:

  1. AMEN, LAURA. I absolutely love these thoughts, and couldn't agree with them more. There is a certain level of respect, decorum, and formality that one must take when expressing empathy. Text-speak does not, can not, and will never convey this, even if the intentions are sincere.

    On that note, I hope you're doing okay after your great-grandma's passing. I know she is.