If you’ve been reading my posts or comments for any length of time, you’ve probably noticed that I use very few emoticons and usually use something like [smiles] rather than 🙂 . It’s just part of my attempts to be more clear and in my mind, a better person.
In March I wrote that I was giving up LOL and other internet shorthand. That was easy, but emoticons have taken a little more work. I got used to them, as many people do. However, I feel that switching to words is an improvement, and one I intend to stick with.
To me, those words in brackets can say more than an emoticon. They are also more clear. One can misinterpret an emoticon’s meaning, but it’s a little bit harder to do so with actual words. There’s also a lot more freedom in words. There’s no emoticon (or maybe there is and I just don’t know it) for a devious grin or a chuckle. I don’t know of an image that represents some of the thoughts or emotions that I want to express.
Now, I’m not judging people who choose to use emoticons, this is just something that for me, feels like the better way to go. I like to be more precise and more clear. This choice is good for me. If anyone out there chooses to follow my lead, that’s great, but if not, that’s fine too. We each have our own ways. This is just my preferred method.
I still find myself using the occasional emoticon, but for the most part I have myself trained to use words in brackets. I will say that even though I’m not fond of emoticons themselves, I do like the idea of finding a way to inject personality into a post or comment. I think that while informal, it does make the post a bit more relatable, and you get an idea of what the writer is thinking. I wouldn’t use them in an informational post, but in casual writing I think they actually have a beneficial effect.
Do you use emoticons? Have you ever tried words or other ways of expressing your emotions online?