We Must Stop Smiley Face Emoticon Abuse!
Did You Really Need a Smiley Face?
I am here today to discuss a serious issue we must face in our society today: smiley face emoticon abuse. Yes, someone needs to stand up for the smiley faces. For that matter, many emoticons are being abused. I want to stand up for the smiley faces, the frowny faces, the love faces, the cool faces, and the many other emoticon faces of the world. Sadly, it is the smiley face that is most used and abused. I realize I usually do not take on the major issues that plague our society, but shameless smiley face emoticon abuse has gone on for too long. Someone has to stand up for them!
Some of you may not know what I am talking about. You could very well be contributing to the problem! Do you frequently use a smiley face to express your emotions in emails, texts, instant messages, etc.? Do you use a smiley face at the end of completely inappropriate comments just to "take the edge off" of these statements? You are an offender, my friend. Take a long look in the mirror. Shame on you!
Are You a Smiley Face Emoticon Offender?
In order for you to understand if you are an emoticon offender, I have to further explain the offense. You are abusing smiley face emoticons if you constantly use them in inappropriate situations. Many people use an innocent smiley face as way to "soften the blow" of bad news or an insult. It is completely wrong and shameful.
Here are some examples of smiley face abuse:
"Nice photo. Is that your new puppy? Oh sorry, it is your baby's picture. :-)"
This is wrong because you just totally insulting someone. Adding a smiley face does not make that sentence cute or funny. You are a total jerk. Don't force a smiley face to be part of your mean comment.
"I feel like we are not a great couple. You are such a nice person though. :-)"
OK, creep, you can't just breakup with someone via email or text message, but then believe a nice compliment followed by a smiley face will save the entire situation. Next time, call that person.
"No worries. I fixed your mistake. :-)"
Gee, don't do me any favors! This is an insult disguised as a "nice comment." Without the smiley face, it looks like the writer is being nasty. With the smiley face, the writer believes it erases every bit of cattiness from the original statement. Not so!
"You are such a loser. :-)"
This is perhaps the worst of the smiley face abuse offenses. It is really an outright insult. However, the smiley face is supposed to indicate it is all just a joke. Oh, haha, thanks. I was totally bummed out, but the smiley face let me know there is no need to unfriend you on Facebook. Hmmm.
Appropriate Smiley Face Usage
You may ask, "Well, Jeannie, if I can't use the smiley face just to say incredibly rude things to people and then pretend I am being clever, how should I use it?" I am happy to answer that question. You should use the smiley face when you say something fun or amusing. Are you making a happy, positive statement? By all means, this is a great opportunity to add a smiley face emoticon. The smiley face is a harmless, sweet character; please don't abuse him!
Here are some examples of appropriate times to use smiley faces:
I just got a raise! :-)
Yes, I would love to go out with you. :-)
Nice photo. What a beautiful dress! :-)
I just won the lottery and I am going to France. :-)
Guess whose pregnancy test just came back negative? :-)
You see, there are so many times we can celebrate. What better way to charm your reader than with an emoticon that matches the emotion? Of course, one might argue a skillfully written comment does not need an emoticon to convey an emotion.
If you truly know what you are doing, you don't need a smiley face, frowny face, or any other face. Your reader should know the right emotion if you construct a good sentence. For that matter, shouldn't we all aim for that anyway? From now on, how about we all use emoticons a little less and look into writing actual sentences a little more?
:-) I couldn't resist.
Copyright ©2012 Jeannieinabottle
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