The Power of Words


Riley Shankman, asst. opinions editor

The old nursery rhythm says “sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me”, but that is not always true. Words can hurt. 

Words matter, they relay our feelings and thoughts and connect us closer to the pWople around us. A few words can change your mood for the better or worse. Whether it is something as small as a joke or a passive aggressive insult, the power of our words is not something that should be taken lightly.

Most people don’t even think about the fact that a simple hello or goodbye can go a long way in making a person’s day. 

In a world of technology and social media, the way we communicate has changed, becoming simple exchanges of information over the internet. Those once simple connections are diminished by nonsensical conversations over text. 

What was once a significant phrase, “I love you”, has been shortened to “love ya”, then to “ily”, each time losing its significance to the point that saying “ily” does not really mean “I love you”. By removing the “I”, the phrase loses its humility, becoming just another common expression. 

In the modern age where the world is at our fingertips, it is only natural that we clip our sentences in the interest of timing. We automatically shorten words such as “you” to “u”, without much thought. 

  By choosing shortened words or rushing through our sentences to get to the point, we disrespect not just ourselves but also our relationships. 

Words are what bring people closer together; our relationships are developed from the conversations we have and the moments we share. The sincerity in these moments is where our relationships grow.  Most of our relationships are damaged from the loss of sincerity in our words preventing true connection. When we shorten important words or phrases they lose their sincerity, leading to the expression flying by without a thought. These insincere phrases may take little effort to create, but they also leave little impact. 

We as a society need to move toward prioritizing genuine interactions. We need to make an effort to bring back sincerity to our exchanges. Work to create interactions that show that you care about the other person, and prioritize your relationship. These interactions should go further than typing a few words that don’t mean anything. It takes only a little extra work to show that you care. 

 While it may be easier to type a simple “wyd” instead of “what are you doing” or “lmk” rather than “let me know”, sometimes it’s better to just say the whole phrase rather than create an alphabet soup of acronyms. 

We need to work together to bring back genuine interactions and meaning to the shortened phrases that have become so common in daily language. While it is nice to say “ily,” it does not compare to hearing “I love you”, it shows that people care about you and means more than a simple passing conversation. Through this, we can bring back true sincerity to the words we speak.