Saturday, October 5, 2013

Emoticons: enhancing your conversations... whether you like it or not!

An extremely well-referenced and highly reliable spam mail reads, 'It takes 17 muscles to smile and 43 to frown, so smile more you lazy-ass douchebag[1]'. I disagree, for they both require 2 keystrokes. Also, pardon my rephrasing ;)

You may not have realized it but emoticons are taking over the world :O, one chat-window at a time. Try to recollect the last time you engaged in a chat conversation without a yellow furball displaying perfect teeth or pouting like this handsome young gentleman. Never, right! It's like, OMG, I use it, like, all the time and you know, never realized it, like OMG!

Not unlike super-villain Agent Smith, they have found their way into e-mails and even handwritten letters. I know what you are thinking... but they are restricted to casual conversations, right? Wrong! I have seen official e-mails with emoticons. Even my boss appends a smiley to my task-list.

The day is not far when they will spread to face-to-face conversations as well. Soon, you will say something sad and shove the appropriate emoticon into others' faces. What a lovely conversation that will be!

However, to be fair, they do enliven the conversation. How many people do you know in real life, who smile, frown, drool, express shock or anger as expressively and as evocatively as the cute little limbless, gutless, ear-less, gravity-defying, jaundice-infected, tireless, regularly-flossing, nude and mostly gender-neutral balls of joy. They have the versatility of Christian Bale's paunch [2]. I recently noticed that WhatsApp's emoticons have a larger emotional range than me!

Emoticons are racist too... (clue: yellow)

But the real problem mostly is that it's next to impossible not to use them. It is as though there's an invisible hand guiding my index finger to the correct keys. Sometimes, I am not even aware of it. Then come the typos. Typing 'distaster' instead of  'disaster' is excusable, but :) in place of ;) could actually spell disaster.. (big round of applause to those who got the joke immediately!)

Want further proof? You love minions don't you!


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I am Arjun P. Kamath, and I am a nice guy to know.