Thursday, August 4, 2011


I love emoticons.

That's right, I said it.

And I don't get why you don't.

Simply put, emoticons (smiley faces in text/internet chat) sure get a lot of hate.  In fact, Larry David's hit HBO show, "Curb Your Enthusiasm," had a whole subplot dedicated to Larry's distaste for their use last week.  But as a veteran internet chatter for, say, the last 16 years, I've found meaning/connotation is easily confused during normal chat, as often times, sarcasm or even slightly playful tone is lost in simple text. This could lead to a misunderstanding and wasted time apologizing for a joke that never needed one in the first place. But there's one easy way to fix this problem:  the emoticon.

Sure, you might find the smile or wink at the end of my texts annoying and childish, perhaps flirty, but really I'm just giving you clear indication of my tone, which otherwise might be lost.  After all, when I speak to you face to face, facial expressions are a huge part of communication and it's easily to discern tone by noticing my delivery or even smile.  And in a world where we are incresing our number of texts and e-mails, emoticons serve the same purpose.  Yes, it's true. 

So really, we all should be using them, and actually using more of them.  I'm very proud to use the dozens of provided emoticons on Microsoft Messenger (especially the crying one cause that little yellow face really goes for it.).   So next time I use one in a text to you, don't think I'm weird, don't think I'm lame, don't think I'm "gay," just be fuckin' happy when you know I'm being sarcastic or playful, which, of course, I'm often being ;)

So why do emoticons get so much hate?  Why do people think they are creepy and lame.  Those little yellow faces are just here to help!


  1. I suppose many people are still stuck with the social conduct of written communication being strictly written if you get what I mean. I.e. being stuck with the formality and rules of writing and how it should be properly spelled, structured etc. And therefore emoticons just don't fit the picture. It's not sophisticated - since the whole point of written word is, supposedly, to test the reader's ability to interpret the underlying subtext as well, perhaps? And the smarty pants of the world are merely pissed off at people making this task easier by using emoticons. Just a theory.

    Then again, isn't any form of communication kind of wordplay anyhow? 90 percent of communication is non-verbal. Maybe the distaste derives from the fact that emoticons give us the chance to write less directly (not having to explain our intentions etc. with words) and therefore transform writing into more of a face-to-face kind of informal type communication. No no, that is simply not how it should be, right? It deteriorates our intellect no doubt! Heavens, shame on us! ;) Still, I like emoticons as well ;D :P Go figure!

  2. I totally agree and do not think it's gay to use emoticons. unless you use this one: 8====3~~~

  3. haha i agree with both of you. I think Heli nailed it with the non-sophisticated argument, but then again, they are never used in formal writing...just text, emails, etc etc. I dunno, i cant put my finger on it exactly either.

  4. I do think that sometimes people use them as an excuse to say a bitchy thing they'd never say in real life.