When I’m texting, I will add in exclamation points more often than I would for pretty much anything else I write. I am especially fond of the emoji exclamation points (‼️❗️⁉️). I know I’m not the only one, many other people I text will do the same thing.
I will add in exclamation points to indicate extra positivity or emphasis even when I do not think I would normally. It is always a struggle to decide whether or not I should even add them in.
The reality is though, they do not matter or count anymore.
When there is an exclamation point in a text. It does not really matter. I will get a 100 or more text messages a day and if a few of them have an exclamation point. No. Big. Deal.
Contrast my text messages with longer form writing, there are almost no exclamation points. There are periods, commas, occasionally a semicolon, almost never a colon, and even fewer exclamation points.
Exclamation points in a text message do not have the same purpose. They do not perform the same function. They most certainly are not as rare. And they are as common as sand in the desert.
The exclamation point is a tool for communicating excitement and we are frivolously using it as if it hardly means anything at all. The only difference is long form and text messages. Text messages happen all the time. Rarely do we sit down to write a long form letter.
Sitting down to do more long form writing we could develop a better sense of value for the exclamation point. Whereas when throw this golden hammer around so easily, we lose perspective on the true power it can posses.
Similarly, if we sat and watched a road crew pave a road, we might be more patient with the small pothole on the highway. The crew has an immense power and it is incredibly labor intensive to fix one pot hole much less an entire neighborhood of boulevard of them.
Spend a day watching your barista, you might be more forgiving that they used soy milk instead of almond milk in your drink this morning.
Follow around your mayor or senator for a day and you might be a little bit more patient with them as they tend to their jobs.
These modern marvels surround us every day and they have a face behind them.
What luxuries have you become too familiar with? What valuables are you taking for granted? Whose work are you taking for granted? Who are you being too critical of? How can you give value to the people you are taking for granted?