In Defense of Emoticons

As a person who frequently (if not always) uses emoticons, it never fails to surprise me when people accuse me of using them too much and portraying myself as “unprofessional.” I understand the difference between using emoticons in a formal atmosphere and using them as a “chat accessory” so what’s wrong with them?

A few reasons why i use emoticons:

  •  Funny: If you really search, there are many fun emoticons (see some below):

♫~d^_^b~♪             ☆*:.。.o(≧▽≦)o.。.:*☆        (」゜ロ゜)」      (*・ω・)ノ

  • Breaking the ice: Informality! Speaking to someone who chats like they’re writing an essay for their professor…it’s quite awkward.
  • Emphasis/Clarification: Emoticons represent your “face” (albeit online). When speaking in real life, people will often assign an expression with what they’re saying – the same thing applies to chatting online. When I chat online, I find it useful to add a face next to what I’m talking about, just to clarify my feelings (it also helps when you’re using sarcasm).

Meanings of emoticons:

A few emoticons and what they mean in general (many of these stem from anime/manga):

:3                         ——>      Paired with a statement talking about cute things or sarcasm.

XD                      ——>       Laughing face; usually paired with Lol (or something similar). Also a reference to                                                           South Park.

x)                        ——>       A devious smirk!

D:                        ——>      Disappointed

゚ Д゚             ——-> Shock

>_< ;                 —->       Slight embarrassment