I’m a little down today. I’m mourning the death of nuance, particularly with respect to language, communication and political discourse.

I’m mourning the death of any form of human communication that isn’t an emoji, a meme, an acronym, an AI-generated message or technical gobbledygook.

I’m mourning the smiling pile of poo. LinkedIn’s suggested generic responses. Moronic memes. Incomprehensible techno-jargon. And of course, LOL. Incidentally, haha is just as bad if not worse, since you never know if it’s sarcastic or genuine.

What got me thinking about this was a tweet from actress Kristy Swanson of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame, “If you can’t find the emoji you are looking for to express yourself, you could just share or express your feelings with words respectfully 🤷🏼‍♀️I would like to know what you are thinking and why. Freedom of speech. 🙌🏼”

Well said. I’m sure the sentiment was entirely lost on the Twitterati who were triggered by Swanson’s support of God and country. Of course, the message might have been more effective without the emojis but that’s neither here nor there.

My reply: “Expressing your genuine thoughts/feelings in your own words instead of a handful of generic emojis. Who would have thought? It took us a million years to advance from guttural grunts & gestures to sophisticated language & communication. It only took 20 years to take us back.”

Had lunch with an old friend the other day. We don’t agree on much in the way of politics, but we did find common ground in the complete lack of nuance on both sides of the political divide.

Don’t even get me started on the media. Nuance doesn’t attract clicks and eyeballs. It doesn’t fuel the increasingly angry divide, either.

The real world isn’t black and white, but infinite shades of gray. Communication is similarly nuanced. While I don’t have an issue with the occasional use of emoticons or acronyms, it’s clear that human communication is devolving at a ridiculously rapid rate.

As the stunning lack of nuance in language, communication and political discourse continues to grow, so does the political divide. Coincidence? You know I don’t believe in coincidences.

Image credit Gage Skidmore / Flickr