A good many years ago I was slower than most people in understanding the ‘XXX’ appearing at the bottom of SMS messages and emails. It must have been when my husband decided to buy me my first mobile phone (for when I was out and about with three very young children). One ‘fellow Mum at the school gate’ sent me one of my ‘first ever text messages’. Next time I saw her I said: “I understood the message, but what about those 3 X-es next to your signature?!” She said: “An X stands for a kiss” and we just looked at each other rather sheepfacedly for one moment, realizing that we were hardly on ‘kissing terms’ in every day life!!

So for me that was ‘my first virtual kiss’!

Today I must admit I sign off with virtual kisses myself – but only in correspondence with friends. I get many emails from clients booking sessions (people I have never met) who sign off with kisses.

It always makes me wonder: are they truly exceptionally friendly and loving people? (The song “All you need is love” comes to mind!) Or has the XXX become a habit, a mindless scribble at the end any message.

For some people it seems to mean something like ‘See you soon!’ but the world of texting and instant messaging has already given us “CU SOON’.

If we are going to ‘seal things with a kiss’ – shouldn’t we at least imagine blowing people a kiss, so there is some substance behind the X?

I did a bit of research on-line and discovered that many ‘office romances’ start with an X. Putting an X on an office message can, apparently, be an indication of willingness to ‘engage in something not so business like’.

As myself

a) have been married for 18 years

b) am self-employed and work from home

c) see clients for one-to-one healing sessions where sexual innuendo is completely out of the question

I may be missing something here. Could someone ‘put me in the picture’ please?!

X also reminds me of situations where individuals have traditionally signed with an X (not a kiss) for reasons of being illiterate or too disabled to write their name in full. I found the following explanation in the on-line legal dictionary:


“X” as a signature refers to a cross that is printed in lieu of an individual’s signature.A signature is required to authenticate wills, deeds, and certain commercial instruments. Typically, individuals sign their full names when executing legal documents. Sometimes, however, individuals use only their initials or other identifying mark. For illiterate, incompetent, or disabled people, this mark is often the letter X.Documents signed with an X sometimes raise questions as to their validity and enforceability.

So, in the age of social media, twitter and mass literacy, why are we going back to putting X-es all over the place?

Can you even remember your First Virtual Kiss?

Imelda Almqvist