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Sunday, November 23, 2014

My Digital Smile Identity Crisis

If this doesn't make you smile, then I don't know what will! A WHOLE blog post on emoticons ;o)

I'm not really sure what it says about me that I've spent 45 minutes researching emoticons. 

But what can I say, I'm curious. 

And I'm also a new-Mommy to an iPad Mini. Which doesn't really have much to do with this conversation of smiles, except for the fact that there are an ungodly amount of emoticon options at the tip of my fingers and it kind of freaks me out. 

But first of all, let's talk emoticons and business.

When I started the photography business, I tried to stay away from winking at people in my writing. That seemed like the professional thing to do. But I found that it wasn't "me" and so I started to include my typical emoticons in my facebook correspondence with clients. 

I also kept liberally using emoticons in my writing here on the blog. I mean geez I'm not taking myself too seriously here, obviously.

And besides, in this modern digital age, even "professional" businesses consider the use of emoticons to be a necessary evil. 

You gotta communicate your emotions somehow!

I love this quote from Scott McDowell about using emotional cues... 

"Until keyboards can actually perceive the emotional content of our digital messages (not so far off!), emoticons may be the simplest method of clarifying tone. I’ve had to let go of my own perception that emoticons are silly. They may currently be our best tool for elevating the emotional clarity of digital messages."

So now the question is this: should I embrace the more normal, accepted noseless smile?

Because apparently I'm behind the emoticon times.

Because this ;o) is not recognized by Facebook (curse you Facebook that's the emoticon I've always used! I like big noses, okay?)

But this :) is okay. Or even this :-)

But not this ;o)

In case you're curious, here are 100 of the most popular "emojis"  and if you're feeling particularly bored you can browse through 2,242 over here!

All this to say I'm going to have finger spasms every time I try to smile at you guys now ;o) ;)

Also, this is probably the silliest blog post ever.

So what do you think about this random quandary of mine? What kind of emoticon do YOU use? Please tell me in the comments :o) :)


  1. This is great, thanks for sharing ;)

  2. JESS! Every.single.time. I use the ":o)" I think of you. In my mind, it's the "Jess Smile". It's practically copyrighted by you. You MUST keep using it. It's just...you. And I am not kidding, anytime I use that emoji I think of you. So embrace being "behind the emoticon times" and rock that big-nosed-and-jolly emoji. I love it.

    1. Haha thanks Maryah! We'll see. I will probably always bounce back and forth ;o) cause I'm just that conflicted ;)

    2. That is hilarious Maryah because I think the same thing. Jess, your ;o) has been implanted in my mind as yours and yours alone.

    3. That's so funny cause it's not "mine" you know? I've seen others use it. Haha ;o) ;-) ;) I just don't know what to do now!

  3. Silly or not it made me smile :-) probably the only one I know, never quite sure what the others are all about. Are lessons available in the use of these smilies do you think ?

    1. Glad to make you smile! And I sure would be curious to take Emoji101 ;)

  4. Haha! A good question to ponder Jessica. This discussion was held on a FB forum a few months ago.

    People who generally use them were pretty clear that they wouldn't be giving them up in business situations, unless absolutely necessary.

    I find I want to add smilies and winky smilies to my blog posts, but sometimes use the word 'wink' instead of an emoticon.

    I have also tried to stop myself adding too many and allowing the words to speak for themselves.

    I think the trap is to use them so often that we forget that a well constructed sentence can convey irony, a smile etc.

    I'm rather fond of the two emoticons I mentioned, but they're never used in novels and authors express themselves perfectly well, so perhaps we should all try harder not to rely on them too heavily? ;-)

    Oops! I failed. ;-)


    1. YES! Sarah, I totally understand that concept. I find that I use a lot of emoticons and exclamation points !!!!!!!!!!! when maybe I should be doing exactly as you say, relying more on quality writing! Great thoughts, thanks for sharing!

  5. :0) ;) <3 ☺ ☻ ♥ ♦ ♣ ♠!! They are here to stay and I think they are adorable little creatures. Too many? NEVER!! Authors of novels SHOULD use them.... just my opinion of course. I, too, am an over user of exclamations and smileys and mini pictures. LOVE it ☺☺☺☺☺

    1. Thanks for commenting Robyn! And I think I agree with you... they're definitely here to stay, at least in my writing ;o) ;-) ;)