1. I want you to sit down — take a seat somewhere quiet and comfortable, where you can reflect and meditate…
2. …and think back. Think back to a time, say, circa 2001 — a brighter, more innocent time — when AIMing with your friends was all the rage.
3. Every away message featured awesome song lyrics. Perhaps you typed in purple Comic Sans, and you felt fun and kewl.
5. Most importantly, though? This was a time when “LOL”…literally meant you were LAUGHING. OUT. LOUD.
I mean, literally.
6. A brief refresher of this forgotten moment in our history, below.
LOL: Something funny made you chuckle, IRL, out loud.
LMAO: Something funny elicited from within you a hearty laugh; a real guffaw, if you will.
LMFAO: Add on another 10 seconds of laugh time.
ROTFL: Your laughter is uncontrollable at this point.
ROTFLMAO (or some other combining-form iteration): Your laughter is so uncontrollable — maybe even painful — you actually almost fell off your chair. Your friend is effing hilarious!
7. Fast-forward to today — aka The Age of LOL Abuse.
11. LOLing has gone so awry, some lost souls often confuse it with punctuation.
14. Some may find even themselves LOLing multiple times within the confines of a single thought.
It’s time we as a society get together and reflect on something critical for the advancement of our species: Does the above statement really warrant four laughs?
16. Multiple LOLs (especially when paired with SMH), alas, raise some questions. Are you feeling nervous?
18. Trying to hide something?
19. On the defense?
20. Feeling snarky? Throw in a “lol” to soften the blow, why don’t you.
24. Are you on drugs???
25. And don’t even get me STARTED on lolol.
What does lolol even mean? Just take the plunge and lmao, if you must.
26. Oh, LOL.
27. You’re now but an empty shell of an abbreviation.
28. A sad silhouette of what was once a sincere — at times, hearty — laugh.
29. A sparkling diamond reduced to cubic zirconia status.
You basically have no true function anymore thanks to these people.
30. Now whenever we are *actually* LOLing, as opposed to simply being amused or delighted by something, we have to specify: “I literally LOL’ed.” Your significance as a stand-alone abbreviation has been invalidated, LOL.
31. I JUST WANT TO LOL WITHOUT THE “LITERALLY,” GUYS, AND STILL CONVEY THAT I AM ACTUALLY LAUGHING OUT LOUD AT SOMETHING FUNNY.
32. It’s a hard life out there, LOL.
33. But don’t worry, LOL, you’ll be OK. Some people (five, to be exact) still have a sweet spot in their heart for LOLing ad nauseam, and there’s a place in this world for them too.
Disclaimer: BuzzFeed loves LOL. We just can’t bear to witness its unrelenting abuse. Help us — and most importantly, help LOL — maintain its value and its integrity. You can be the change you wish to see in this world.