What is Emoticon?

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Emoticons are commonly known as smiley faces or smileys. An emoticon refers to a way of expressing an emotion online or on texts. Emoticons are commonly used on SMS, e-mail and chats to complement a worded message. An emoticon is a combination of keyboard symbols or letters to generate an expression that reflects how a person feels. For instance, an emoticon that represents sad is shown as 🙁 and an emoticon reflecting happiness or a joke is shown by :-). Emoticons reflect innovation in the online space that causes a shift in how electronic messages are interpreted. There is a broad range of emoticons available today adding to the fun in online communication.

Role of Emoticons

Emoticons have become a central part of communicating through electronic gadgets such as phones and computers. When talking to a person one on one, we see their reaction and are able to assess their emotions and thoughts then adjust accordingly. It is not possible to do this kind of assessment when talking to someone on cell phone or through the internet. We cannot tell how the other person feels neither can we express our emotions adequately. Emoticons help in such situations. They help you gauge the emotions of the other person as you communicate based on the emoticons they use.

Effects of Emoticons

For some, emoticons are not all that amusing; they find them lazy and ridiculous. Others are concerned that the use of emoticons is slowly killing people’s ability to communicate effectively in writing. There are fears that emoticons are not helping improve the shared coherence with which people write. The emotions and persuasiveness that used to be expressed through the adept use of punctuations and vivid adjectives are no longer there. In today’s tech savvy world, they have been replaced by smileys, winkys and frownys.

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