I’m not an old fashioned kind of gURL. I love my iPhone, and couldn’t live without my DVR. I tweet, I text, I Skype. But there is one digital darling I just can’t get on board with… smiling, crying, laughing, whatever-ing emoticons. I’m so sick of those winking little yellow balls staring up at me every day from my phone and computer.
I just don’t get it. When did words become obsolete? Personally, I like words. Words are nice. They were good enough for William Shakespeare and Carrie Bradshaw (yes, I know she’s not real, sort of) and they’re good enough for me!
It all began with the text, an easy way to send a message without having to make a call. Then the texts got shorter, filled with less words and more LOL’s and TTYL’s. Now, we have completely abandoned the entire alphabet for those little yellow suckers. Emoticons give off this vibe of familiarity. We’re pals, we’re in love; we know each other so well we can communicate without actual words.
Some feel emoticons express, in the most concise way, exactly what they want to say. I highly object to this, your Honor! First of all, anyone who says they use emoticons because it takes less time than typing is simply a liar. Emoticons take time. They are specific and deliberate. If I spell “later” as “lates” the intended message is still crystal clear, but a misspelled emoticon and who knows what the message received with be! Second of all, emoticons leave way too much up for interpretation, and that’s just plain dangerous. Sure, a smiley face seems easily defined, but is it really? “Does he like me?” “Is it a pity smile?” “Is she smiling in a sarcastic way, like, ‘yeah, I’m smiling’?” Like I said, so many questions.
More to the point? There’s not a single emoticon that fully expresses my hatred of emoticons. Nope, not even that one with the slanty, angry eyebrows. Don’t be an emoticon addict. Fight yellow ball fever! Use words!
WDYT? Are you addicted to those little smilies? Do you hate emoticons, too? Tell us how you feel (sans emoticons!) in the comments below.
Alison Goodman is a Writer, Casting Director and Pop Culture Junkie who has worked for the CW, ABC Family and the WB. She believes that good TV can cure the common cold and that bacon makes everything taste better.