Communication Icons: Emoticons Essay

1257 words - 5 pages

Since 1982, emoticons and smileys have gone from an adorable glyph to convey human emotions to a communication icon. Whether you are adept in using text emoticons and smileys or use computer generated emotion icons, these characters are a communication tool beloved by this technologically based society.

Virtually every country has its own set of descriptive emotion icons. Whether Mexican or Japanese, there are hundreds of delightful characters to express emotion and enhance the electronic written word.

The average person believes emoticons and smileys are the same thing. However, contrary to popular belief, they are not the same. An emoticon is actually a computer generated graphical image to convey human emotion. A smiley is text-generated representation conveying emotion. Although, most people use the terms interchangeably without realizing there is a difference. It is not worth the time to debate the issue or to make the distinction.

Several online directories exist that have catalogued hundreds of text smileys. Text smileys are used in emails and cell phone text messages. While emoticons are generally not accepted in business communications, it is acceptable to use text smileys in some cases. Most companies use an email system. It is acceptable to use text smileys in email correspondence between coworkers. However, it is rarely acceptable to use text smileys in email correspondence conveying company business. In addition, it is not deemed appropriate to use text smileys in emails to customers. If you have an established rapport with a customer, limited use might be acceptable.

It is important to limit the use of these text characters. Over use is irritating in emails. Text characters are acceptable when texting on a cell phone. However, sending several cell phone messages only using a text smiley is only acceptable if you are under the age of twelve. While these delightful characters can enhance a message, it is best to exercise discretion to avoid over use.

Unfortunately, many people like to display their texting shrewdness by using obscure text smileys. For this very reason, there are several libraries of text smileys. People are forced to look up the meaning of these obscure text icons. Most people do not want to admit they do not understand the meaning. Today, there are hundreds of different text icons. Only a person obsessed with the use of text smileys masters this character language. Sadly, becoming a text icon expert does little for a person's social life or career. It may be a favorite past time for many people, however, it has little real world applications other than aggravating friends or family.

Emoticons are designed to be funny representations of human emotions. You can download free Emoticons for social media applications such as Facebook. In addition, most email providers have a set of emoticons that can be used for their platform. While these unique characters are a fantastic way to develop artful...

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