J Simens.com

Floundering between two cultures

A different sort of rafting - not whitewater!

A different sort of rafting – not whitewater!

I do feel like a fish out of water.  I am trying to master some technology terms and trying to understand what I am doing on the Internet.

Personal confession, I have messed up my own children with my inability to grasp chat slang. Imagine my horror when I actually found out what LOL means.  I had been using this common three-letter thing for several months and finally I got an email from my father- in-law.  He is also new to chatting and did the common LOL and the added (laughing out loud)… Oh my!  I had been sending my daughter off in college supportive messages such as:

  • I hope you do well on your physics test. LOL.
  • Your friends must be happy that you are driving. LOL.
  • Homework is hard in college. LOL

My personal hero . . . Thanks, JackieMy daughter must hate me!  Even when I explained to her that to some people it means “Lots of love” I am sure the past stings of Mom laughing at her are still there. The only redeeming thing is that she did not sling back a LOL back to me meaning… “Loser on line.”


NOW – here is my cultural dilemma. I am working in Thailand and I keep getting emails from colleagues and ever so often they put in 555.  I am clueless but too proud to ask. Even with my closest Thai friend, I don’t feel comfortable asking him because I feel it is something I should know. I have seen it so often.

Is it like 666?  Is it Christian eschatology, the study of the end of things, life, age or end of the world from a Christian perspective?  666, the number of the Beast found in the Book of Revelation, New Testament, Christian Bible. Or is it a “Children of the Corn” moment?

As I sat in my beginning Thai class (Yes, I have taken three beginning Thai classes. I have been in Thailand three years and every “New Year” I feel I should really master the language), I had an AH-HA moment. I slowly counted to ten in Thai, but once  I hit Five it all made sense.

555 means ha, ha, ha.

I am now Laughing Out Loud!

But seriously – if you need help understanding all the technology stuff out there – Here is a very helpful site – Cheekymunkey

This link has a using-the-internet-for-seniors-beginners-guide that is very helpful if you are unsure of where to start or what to do next. I like the fact that they include things like, “What the difference between the http and the https?”


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