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Mostly about computers, generally Linux-related

Thoughts on Smileys

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Not seeing the other person face to face implies harder communication. In order to shorten otherwise long descriptions of our feelings, we have created a standardised, cold, near-useless (in real situations) feature called the smiley (various forms included). Things went downhill from here and social networks are, to my knowledge and opinion, the the all-time high of automatised interaction between two humans.

A picture is worth a thousand words, but the same picture three times over is worth a lot less, especially when you see it over and over again from various persons. I use smileys myself (who doesn’t?), but everyone should be aware that one cannot express things such as irony with a smiley, no matter how well animated, brightly coloured, or whatever more they think of.

The remembering and repeated use of intricate character combinations is something many people take pride in, but why not use that brain power to something better? The plain, classic smileys justify their use in otherwise serious, technical material as a means of relaxing the tone, as they in fact do in day-to-day conversation (try talking to a friend without using a smiley), but where will the madness end? Can you honestly tell me you laughed so long that your finger was stuck on the `)’ key?

So, my message is (although this doesn’t suit me, I’ll probably go back to writing about my tiny linux adventures): let’s try to write more coherent and gramatically correct text instead of polluting every other word with some smiley. There’s a time and place for everything, but smileys are too inflexible to be considered a means of communication.


September 3, 2007 - Posted by | abstract


  1. That’s a good point. And I think we should learn how to write when using the Yahoo! Messenger, for example. Sometimes, I feel forced to ask the other person what he intended to say, because acronyms are used too often, and sometimes they are meaningless. They transform a normal conversation into a translation course.

    Comment by Andrei | September 3, 2007 | Reply

  2. We use smilyes when we have nothing more to say, very often…I mean :) should be enough…i’m smiling and everybody’s happy…but what you do in the real world when you’re speachless and the wheather talk is no longer a solution? ok…love you, buh’bye?
    It’s more easier to get rid of an embarissing, ugly situations using smileyes on the internet than apologizing over and over again in the real world. It’s not fair for neither one of us, but it’s a fact. Let’s all shake hands and change the world.

    Comment by roxanam | September 3, 2007 | Reply

  3. […] Smiley and browser-based game debunk Smileys – a blessing or a curse? – written as a response to: DDVlad’s Thoughts on Smileys […]

    Pingback by Smiley and browser-based game debunk « simple tiny blog | September 4, 2007 | Reply

  4. Smileys may have their upshots but certainly saying the words mean more!

    Comment by hitandyrun | September 4, 2007 | Reply

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