In simple terms, an abbreviation is a shortened form of a word or phrase. It is from the Latin word, “brevis”, which means short. Abbreviations are not new. They have been around for a very long time. Usually, abbreviations were used more when making reference to organisations. For example, the UN (United Nations), NEMA (National Emergency Management Agency), NPF (Nigeria Police Force), etc, etc. With the advent of online social media, however, it seems that abbreviations have taken a new turn and are fast becoming de facto in everyday communications between people.
Ordinarily, human relationships are enhanced by being as expressive as possible. Human relationships depend on depth in communication. If you wanted to share with a friend, you expressed as much as you could in clear terms. The more detailed you were with prose, the better. But this generation may be fast losing that to the new trend of abbreviating even the most basic greetings and wishes. When you send “HBD” to someone on their birthday, does it convey the depth that saying “Happy Birthday” does? How about “GGMUB”? That’s an abbreviation for “God go make you bigger” (God will increase you).
Do these abbreviations communicate the message intended? Sure. No doubt. If I see “HNY”, I do know that I am being wished a happy new year. However, it does seem to lack depth. I know that you wish me well, but I do not feel anything. Unfortunately, relationships go beyond just communicating and are firmly entrenched in how we make people feel.
But then, all this may just be a perception problem. Perhaps, simply because I belong to an older generation were things were different, I find the new practice uncomfortable? Perhaps.
I am no expert at this, but I do a lot of musing, and I am wondering right now, are we abbreviating our relationships away with this new trend in communications?