meh there are plenty of situations where LOL is appropriate, in the same way emoticons are appropriate. the internet as a communication medium has progressed from a strictly 'written medium" to be an "avatar communication medium" meaning that the communication is no longer simply 'written' but pretends at real life, whereby LOL, and smileys, and frownies, and roflmao are all very appropriate. The purpose being to imitate the natural flow of speech.
In a real conversation, you don't need to take the time to completely spell out the emotion of laughter, it does the same thing in chat rooms. It's not about writing letters, it's about direct speech through the keyboard.
Language can evolve all it wants to, but as it comes to formal communication (in which I've found my aforementioned abbreviation more than once!), I communicate in whole sentences with punctuation, without exception.
I insist that too much of this "new communication" is a product of laziness and an inability or unwillingness to TYPE. I understand most if not all of it, occasionally use it, but that does NOT mean I have to participate in lackadaisical communication as a baseline means.
You don't get it... You're not a 17-year-old girl. It goes like this:
armenianprince: wan 2 cyber?
And then he can't say anything because the conversation is over. There's no response to LOL. It's annoying to you, but it's useful to us. You also use it when you're talking to someone boring and you have nothing to say to them. It saves you time and energy in the long run. And it makes you seem like you're actually listening, in the case you can't block them because maybe they have a hot friend or you know their mom or something.
In which case it goes like this:
skaterdater: im bored
skaterdater: i want a sandwich
skaterdater: wanna cyber?
Princess Jezzy: LOL
It's a life saver... Plus it's much cooler to pronounce it "lawl" rather than say "ell-oh-ell".