Creating an Emotional World in Cyberspace With Emoticons
As computer technology developed and the Internet grew, emoticons were in limited use. In the early years of Internet communication, people were just beginning to learn crafty abbreviations and the use of text symbols to convey emotions. Most folks wrote expressive dialogue with complete sentences. Gradually a shift was made to simple texting messages. As social media sites developed, a new language began to develop. As this new language developed, the need to express human emotions grew. This is when emoticons experienced a rise in popularity.
Emoticons are considered the pioneers if Internet emotionalism. Cyberspace was no longer a sterile place devoid of human emotion. The emoticons are a mainstay in this developing emotional world of cyber communication.
Invasion of the Emotion Icons
Today, emoticons are a favorite among social media users. These days the written language has been reduced to a series of abbreviations. The emotion expressing symbols are a useful tool to convey human emotions in the world of abbreviated text. People no longer communicate with well-crafted sentences. On social media sites short and sweet is preferred to long and drawn out. Emoticons are a crucial element in social media communications. The symbols used extensively on instant messaging boards. Instant messaging is essentially a real-time online chat. Many popular social sites allow users to chat with each other using a chat box. Emoticons are used to convey emotion without having to type a detailed message explaining a person's current state of mind or well-being.
Emoticons are skillfully adaptable and manage to keep up with current technology. It was only a matter of time before these little iconic figures would invade cell phones. While cell phones are convenient, the phones are rarely used to have conversations that engage the use of vocal chords. The preferred method of communication on cell phones is with a tiny keyboard. Unbelievably, people prefer to tap out cryptic messages on a miniature keyboard instead of using verbal communication. Emoticons are used for added emphasis in the skillful art of texting.
There are so many emotion icons in texting directories have been established. If you are unsure of the meaning of a texting icon, simply visit one of the many texting directories to find out what it means. These icons have managed to wedge their way into most forms of modern day communication. Even the business world is not immune to these fanciful characters.
Emoticons have become so familiar and widely used; the business world has begun to embrace them. Many people use text icons in emails at work. However, their use is usually limited to emails between coworkers. It would be inappropriate to send professional emails to clients that contain the use of icons. Many people rely on emotion icons in emails to circumvent misunderstandings. Emails cannot convey the tone of verbal communication. In addition, many misunderstandings have occurred by a poorly written email. Many people lack sufficient writing skills to develop an effectively crafted email. In most cases, people rarely have the time to ponder whether every sentence they write will be understood. Emails are crafted in a matter of minutes. It is almost as if there is a race to hit the send button. Many email writers use emoticons because the icons are quick and easy to use.
Unfortunately, many young people have become accustomed to using emoticons and texting lingo. Many human resources professionals have reported a use of both on resumes. In addition, school teachers have reported their use on essay papers and tests. While many employees may use both emoticons and texting lingo in emails to their coworkers, it is still considered to be inappropriate in professional correspondence such as job applications. In addition, these symbols are not acceptable in professional business correspondence. A vendor or client does not want to receive a letter dotted with icons. Emoticons are useful in the business world; however, their use should be limited to the employee email system.
Evolution of Emotion Icons
While emoticons can be constructed with one to three keystrokes, many people have turned to animated emoticons. Text emoticons are still used in cell phone texting, however, due to the popularity of their use, many cell phone companies have developed animated icons. In addition, many programs allow you to download animated icons. With a click of a button, you can have a happy face emoticon that delivers a smile with a thumbs up or rolls its eyes with the classic "whatever" look.
Smiley face emoticons are now considered a classic. While theses emoticons are still popular, they have changed. These little characters have developed legs, hands and hair. Many programs allow you to customize the emoticons. You can add hats, clothes, jewelry, and change the eye color. Personalizing these icons is a creative form of expression in the virtual world. Emoticons have become as diverse as the global population.
Almost every Internet culture has developed its own emoticons. The smiley face is an international symbol and has been adapted to represent many cultures such as Mexican, Irish, Asian, and Australian just to name a few. Emoticons evolved from a simple use of the colon and parentheses to fun icons with flair.
Today's modern emoticons can speak, sing and laugh. Emoticons are no longer limited to smiley faces. Almost any icon or character that expresses a human emotion is considered an emoticon. Many different forms include puppies, cats, aliens and dancing bananas. In the online world, these icons electronically convey human emotion in a whimsical way and are only limited by the human imagination. Anyone can create emoticons by using online software programs dedicated to creating these eclectic icons.
The evolution of emoticons continues. These characters will continue to change as long as technology changes. If you accept that Scott Fahlman is the original creator of the emoticon, then these iconic characters will be 30 years old soon. As emoticons continue to develop, it is anyone's guess what the next generation of emoticons will look like. Rest assured these emoticons will continue to help humans express their emotions in the the cyber world.
The way people communicate has changed significantly since Scott Fahlman typed his first smiley emoticons on the computer. He more than likely had no idea that little symbol would take a generation by storm and become an important communication tool. For the younger generation, emoticons are an important tool for self-expression.
Emoticons are meant to be silly and fun. It is a simply way to express emotion in cyberspace. However, it should not replace the art and creativity of written language. It seems as if we are headed back to the use of symbols instead of eloquently written words. While emoticons may enhance casual online banter, they do not have any real world application.
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