Words have meaning. Sounds so simple, doesn't it? Words are nothing more than symbols used to convey meaning. How they are interpreted can be affected by experience, perspective and context.
In anonymous discussion forums words have an even bigger meaning. Why? Well, because the words we type provide the only basis by which our online compadres can form opinions of us. For exampe, I imagine if this post contained a cartoon, some might view me as childish or immature depending on the cartoon of course.
How we choose to use words..and what kinds of words we focus on tell people a lot about us...no matter how we may try to hide it.
Take the word "friend" for example. Who do you call a friend? Some people call their significant other their "friend"...some people call acquaintances "friends" and some people call those who really matter at the heart of it "friend". Sometimes our differing definitions of words can get us into trouble. I fall into that third category when it comes to the meaning of the word "friend". This once got me into trouble when someone who used the term to refer to someone whom they really felt was more an acquaintance called me "friend". Differing interpretations of the word meant differing expectations which..looking back..spelled doom from the beginning.
So yes..words do have meaning..but they may not always mean what you think they do...especially in an environment where we have no other information (tone of voice, expression) to go on.
One thing I have learned in life. You should choose your words wisely. One can never "unread" or "unhear" something hurtful or insincere or mean. You can try to take words back..but you really never can.
...and sometimes the right words can make all the difference in the world.