Campaign Urges People to Ditch Web Smileys for December
An effort to stop the use of excess smiley faces and other Web emoticons during the month of December is currently making the rounds online.
News editors Brenna Ehrlich from Mashable.com and Andrea Bartz from Psychology Today wrote a piece for CNN.com passionately urging people to resist using emotions for the rest of the month.
The authors polled 500 friends and fans to determine which emoticons were the most hated. The tongue sticking out emoticon -- :P -- topped the list with 46 percent saying it was the most disliked. The cranky icon -- >:( -- came in second with 39 percent saying it was the most hated. The smiley emoticon was only hated by 8 percent and the frowny one got only 2 percent.
The history of the emoticon is credited to Scott E. Fahlman, a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University. Back in 1982, Fahlman wanted his computer science community online bulletin boards to better understand when humor was being used, so he inserted smile faces to signal a joke.
Although the authors make good points – "Would you wink at someone in real life? Didn't think so" – they also took it to extremes:
"People are generally socially inept online and smileys are a way to stave off any confusion, but we have to say -- emoticons have reached STD-like proportions since their inception, spreading from one person to another like particularly expressive herpes."
However, we at TechNewsDaily tend to agree that emoticons should be left out of work emails for the most part. And if a smiley is used to denote sarcasm, then you should probably pick better words to get the point across instead.
Wouldn't you agree? :)