Should We Refrain From Using Emojis and Emoticons?

What is Emotional Intelligence (EI) or Emotional Quotient (EQ)?It is the ability to read yours and other people’s emotions and determine how you should behave towards such emotions.

Emoticons are an example of meta-communication. You may have heard this phrase before: “what I said is not what I meant.” For instance, when your friend wears an ugly shirt and asks for your opinion, your face cringes a little bit but you say you think it’s a lovely shirt. Hence, meta-communication is a form of non-verbal communication. It can be said that emoticons are being used in modern technology in order to express emotions, and sometimes these emoticons may replace words. For instance, smiley face may mean you agree to something or a nice farewell and end to a conversation.

Emoticons first arose in the 19th century and were used in casual and humorous writings. It was first used by Scott E. Fahlman, a computer scientist, in the year of 1982. They are now being used on various social medias and text messages. But the major question is, should they be a concern?

In my opinion, we are integrating the technological world and our realistic world way too much. I have had friends who say "LOL", "LMAO", "GTFO" in our day to day conversations - while talking to them in person! That is not okay. What if emoticons are starting to replace our actual emotions too?

In the earlier times, when you wrote a letter for someone, you expressed how you felt in long passionate paragraphs. However, most of us now write a few sentences along with 10 emoticons to express how we feel. This argument, however, can have two sides to it:

For Emoticons:

When writing a long text to someone, it has the possibility of sounding either angry, happy, sad, cheerful or a have a myriad of different tones. Emoticons used in these texts can help the reader get a better understanding of what the how the other person felt when writing the text, and what emotion they wanted to convey.

Against Emoticons:

People may lie about how they are feeling, someone may send smiley emoticons but they are actually upset. This can be dangerous because you would not be able to help the other person since you would assume they are doing just fine.

I do think that emoticons should be used in text messages and social media in order to make conversations a bit more interesting. However, I think they should be used less than they currently are because emoticons can be misused and are not expressing one’s actual emotions.

The next generation of emoticons are now becoming wildly popular: Emojis. These include but are not limited to, the little icons of stacked money, sticking out tongue, flags of countries, lipstick, perfectly shaped feces etc. Although I do agree that emoticons should be used at times in text messages, I do not think that emojis should be used at all. These little icons are starting to replace words!

Interesting fact: a well-known Emoji artist, Fred Benenson, translated Moby Dick using only Emojis and later titled it “Emoji Dick.” He had turned a book of 200,000 words into tiny icons!

Once again, one may argue from both sides on whether Emojis are good and bad:

For Emojis:

They have no language barrier because different people from all around the globe can understand most of these small icons and their meanings.

Against Emojis:

They are replacing words, therefore, causing the younger generations to slack off by giving them shortcuts of tiny icons to explain what they want to say.

All in all, I do not think the world will come to an end by using too many emoticons and emojis. However, I do think they are causing the younger generations to become lazier in terms of being able to read emotions of their peers in person and in terms of spelling out words and writing proper sentences. What do you think, collegiettes?