tldrI ran across this curious little designation about a year ago, and I struggled to figure out why people were using it comments on blogs and discussion groups.


So of course I asked the all-knowing Google, and it turns out there’s a Wikipedia page on the topic.  It means “too long; didn’t read.”

Yet, despite directly admitting that they didn’t invest the time to read an article – much less think about it – a commenter feels the need to go ahead and respond to what they thought/feared/hoped the original writer said.

This is what passes for discourse on social media these days.

But it’s really more about our evolving relationships with the people around us.  Tl;dr is messaging that:

  • What you have to say bores me.
  • Talking is more important than listening and thinking.
  • I’m too important to listen to what you have to say.

I’d like to think that people would use this in an ironic way, but most of the time it seems like the person is serious.

So here’s the challenge for you, as a business leader:  How often is your body language and desire to get things moving sending the tl;dr message to your people?

You’re telling your folks that they don’t matter, either as human beings or knowledgeable in their field.

Don’t be the tl;dr boss.  Your team will quickly figure out that they don’t have time for you either.