Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Smiley Faces :) ;) :( :0
I confess. I am a serial smiley face user.
Somehow, it has become culturally appropriate to add a smiley face :) or a sad face :( or a winking smiley face ;) to text in e-mails, IM's, blogs etc....
This has to be the most passive aggressive communication convention ever invented.
You can say anything you want. You can be rude, demeaning, angry, or even lascivious. Then, if you add a smiley face, it's like you've invoked some kind of special immunity or force field against counter attacks. Here are some examples:
1) "You looked like crap today! ;)" The strategic placement of the winking smiley face means, hey, we're tight. You can't get mad. I'm giving you a cute wink. I've just insulted you but, hey, no worries! I'm your winking friend.
2) "I disagree with everything you stand for, detest the candidate you are planning on voting for, and would not even let you babysit my children. :) " The smiley face here means, :You can't get mad at me. I'm nice. I hate YOU but, I'M nice. It's like intentionally giving someone a black eye and than saying, "What? What'd I do?"
3) "I'm totally fine. You didn't hurt my feelings! I'm just going to stay home tonight alone. Have a blast without me! :("
This means. Please, please, please feel sorry for me. I'm not actually happy. Don't go without me.
Feel free to add some of your own, "I've been hit by the smiley face" examples..........