I feel like I’m channeling Andy Rooney when I say things like this, but has anyone noticed that most people now regardless of their connection to you sign emails xoxox followed by an initial?
Trust me, I am as guilty as everyone else. Though I have been trying to stop myself from over xing and oing lately.
As most people know the literal translation for xo is hugs and kisses. The usually lowercase letters are the emotional salutary equivalent of dotting your i’s with a smiley face or a heart. At one time it was the Marcia Brady or Gidget way of signing off. The precursor to this was in the sixties when love temporarily became luv. As in, I just luv Twiggy.
So why all of a sudden does one’s dentist, accountant, stranger you met at an event who wants to meet for lunch; stranger you met on subway who found your iPhone; people who in a million years would never hug or kiss you in real life send you hugs and kisses online?
I see people writing to Glenn, people he barely knows signing off with hugs and kisses. He is not the kind of guy you hug and kiss randomly. He BTW does not xoxoxo anyone but the family as far as I know. I might have to go raid his inbox and see. I have seen many people xoing him, and it has caused me on several occasions to ask what’s going on here? The answer usually being, someone I’m doing business with, we had lunch.
Is this just a tick we have all picked up or one speedier way to get to the end of something and move on to the next? Is it one more false sense of closeness the Internet often facilitates?
I may have only written two sentences. I may have forgotten your birthday and not picked up the phone in a year and heard your voice. But I’m hugging and kissing you to make up for that and my general emotional distraction of the last five years.
But that doesn’t account for the Doctors, Lawyers and Indian Chiefs who have started signing off xoxoxo no matter what has come before it.
“Sorry to inform you your biopsy came back positive. xoxoxxo Dr. Finkelstein.”
“Unfortunately your credit rating is such that you have been denied a loan. xoxoxo Herman Henderson from Infidelity Mortgage.”
“Your insurance policy does not cover breast augmentation. xoxoxo Debby – Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Your parent teacher conference has been cancelled. Please call and reschedule. xoxox mrs. barber
OK, maybe I’m exaggerating a little to prove a point, but not too much.
Perhaps I’m taking it all too literally and in a fast paced, computer driven society it’s everyone’s way of saying we may not act like it anymore but we do care.
By writing this blog I have probably assured I will no longer receive any hugs and kisses online in the near future.
Though I must say, sticking with the Gidget theme, when I see them from some people I think, they like, me they really, really like me. I may be wrong in my assumption, but it does make me feel good. I suppose that is the point.