A generation expresses itself: emotigrams

When did we become so reliant on emotigrams?

After fifteen odd years spent communicating so often through email, then instant messenger, Facebook, and now text messaging, I have to admit it: I’ve been ruined, I and my entire generation (and most likely all subsequent generations). We’re incapable of expressing thoughts without visuals. Letter-writers of ye olden times didn’t have to draw smiley faces next to their happier thoughts, or winking faces after ironic statements. But we do. I know I do! I simply can’t write without them. (Except this blog. I never use emotigrams here. Ever.)

My absolute favorite emotigram, hands down, is the winking face.  😉

What does it mean, exactly? No one knows. Which allows for an incredible range of nuance in your text messaging/g-chatting/Facebook messaging social life.

Some sample conversations:

The casual convo:
Someone else: What did you have for lunch today?

Me: A chicken sandwich. 😉

The heart-to-heart:

Someone else: So how are you? Did you have a good weekend?

Me: I’m good! My weekend was great. 😉 How was yours?

The confrontation:

Someone else: I’m so sorry, I won’t be able to make it to your ______ [insert: party/volunteer event/hiking trip/whatever] tonight. I know this is super last minute. I’m sooooo sorryyyyy.  : (

Me: No worries! 😉 [winking face could mean a whole range of things: I’m super upset but don’t want to show it; I get it, you never intended to come and we both know it, heh heh; or Life is just that way, I guess! Hope you have fun with whatever else you’re doing that’s suddenly more important.]

The proposed hangout:

(A personal favorite of mine)

Me: Hey! If you’re not busy tonight, I was thinking of grabbing dinner in Old Town. Please come if you can! But no pressure. 😉

If nothing else, emotigrams present a fascinating new way to look at all those boring grammatical symbols that have cluttered our correspondence for centuries. Who knew a semicolon or a closed parenthesis or that weird little symbol above the 6 on a standard keyboard could be such fun?

😉         🙂         =)         =(          :>)              😡        :^)          8)       8^)       =D       =T        =I          =P        : O )           = O     =…(

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