Rant: I Hate Emoticons


They might look innocent, but we know better.

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.


Posted in: Geek Gurl, Uncategorized, Your Life
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  • Bart


  • Kayla

    Hmm…I don’t mind the smilies all that much…sometimes I get the impression that when someone sends certain ones I think they are being sarcastic but its not that much of a bother to me. My HUGE pet peeve when texting is the ILY…like where the hell is the emotion in three letters that should make up three words? “I love you” It looks so much better when spelled out. And the TTYL and all those other ones bother me too. I would use the TTYL and BRB if I have to text in a rush and get my phone out of my hands but thats only it. I wouldn’t use it if I were to have a honest conversation with someone. I have this one friend who types lyk dis all da tym…and it gets so hard on the eyes when I read it…I understand it but to me it shows poor writing and communication skills.

  • Keryn

    I do agree with Binky thr. And, In as much as I dig that with her, I still think d usage of emoticons or smileys shud be put under moderation. There’s alws a reason 4 smtn and I thnk d inventi0n of emotic0ns is nt a stupid or bad idea, but then; “too much of everythng is bad”… Over use of em0tic0ns is bad. By d way, I unfriended a close frnd of mine bcos he was addicted 2 the ‘:-D’ smiley wch I hate – he over used it n it made me feel lyk he wasn’t taking our conversation seriously, as though we wr running a c0mic show. Em0tic0ns lyk 🙂 😉 😡 😛 😐 are the very c0mm0n ones n it puts life in2 written c0nversati0ns. Bottomline: don’t over use em0tic0ns! It could be sickening.

  • Free

    it hate the used of them like k because it kinda of like um maybe i should shut up now im’ ranting but if it like he finailly called 😀 then im cool

  • Taylor

    I agree with binky too. If there wasn’t such thing as emoticons, things could get messy. It would be possible that people would take messages the wrong way if you didn’t put an emoticon. People could get the message if there was not any emoticons that someone was mad at them, someone has a crush on them, etc. But of course with that being said, there is always the possiblity that if you overused/misused emoticons, that wrong message could be sent through the emoticons, too. So I think it’s good if you use them in moderation and think about which ones you use for each message. That’s what I do, and it works great. 😀

  • Alex

    It depends… I agree with what Binky said but I have friends who like to ONLY send those things and i can get annoying.

  • Anonymous

    Emoticons rule!!!!!!! go Emoticons 🙂

  • Charese

    I have Emoticons on my iPhone i’m obsessed with them!

  • binky

    The reason we have emoticons is because when you communicate via text there’s no facial expressions or vocal inflection so we use emoticons to fill in the blanks.

    “you’re an idiot” vs. “you’re an idiot :p”
    The first one says that you’re stupid and should feel bad. The second one says you’re a goofy/crazy person and it’s funny.

    Emoticons provide a useful service by adding subtext to words and phrases without interrupting the flow of normal conversation.

    • Isabelle

      i totally agree with blinky, but i know some of my friends use them too much… i think it should be put at the end of a text to show the person what you feel (happy, sad, annoyed, etc)
      i think they should be used moderately (every 20 words would be nice)
      but even more annoying then emoticons, are mono-syllable replies…. ugh! (example, ok. sure. meh.) its frustrating writing a huge text to get a ”ah” back!!!!