Thursday, October 9, 2008

A surfeit of smileys

Sample this:

Enthusiastic Friend: Hi Kamal :-)
Kamal: Hi
Enthusiastic Friend: How are you doing? :-)
Kamal: Good. How are you?
Enthusiastic Friend: I'm fine. :-) :-) :-)
Enthusiastic Friend: So, you have a holiday today? :-)
Kamal: Yes
Enthusiastic Friend: Great, relaxing huh? :-) :-)

...well, you get the picture.

Some people use so many smileys. Well, I have nothing against smiling but a smiley must be used on chat only when the person typing is really smiling.

People tend to become over expressive while chatting. For example, if I say something even slightly funny, they will type:

rofl

which translates to Rolling on the floor laughing. Excuse me, if you were rolling on the floor laughing, how the hell did you type 'rofl'? And btw, there was nothing that funny about what I just said.

Some people, like my enthusiastic friend above use smileys so often that when they don't put a smiley while saying something, I start worrying if I have said something that offended them.

There should be a rule that says that only the emotion that is really displayed by the person chatting should be typed in the chat window. Why put a smiley when you are really not smiling?

Do people really think that typing a smiley in a chat window actually exercises all those face muscles that are supposed to get exercised when a person actually smiles?

Also, there are so many 'emoticons' available nowadays in chat software that I don't know what half of them mean. So, when someone uses them, I am not sure what to make of them. Are they happy, are they upset, are they sticking their tongue out (what does this mean anyway?), what exactly are they saying?

Of course, the smiley is probably the most abused of them all.

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