Emoticons are emotional graphics – visual ways to express a person’s feelings or mood when words alone aren’t enough. I use emoticons a lot when chatting with my contacts. I have had to go out of my way to download apps with some fun emoticons just so I could use them to express my feelings better. Also, when chatting and the other person uses emoticons that resonate with me, I respond appropriately to that emoticon. My facial expression replicates the exact emoticon used.
As a matter of fact, when chatting on my mobile, it often looks like I laugh with my phones and some folks think that I have some imaginary friends.
In my course of discussion with anyone via chats, I do use the emoticons to express what I feel at the moment…..if I feel what you have said is totally hilarious, I use the ROTFL emoticon. Emoticons are an extension of what I feel whenever I chat. That is why it often baffles me to find out that someone with a straight face is sending me a ROTFL emoticon. How do you send a LOL emoticon when in the strictest sense you are far from laughing? Or how does someone send “wink/cool” emoticon when he/she is practically irritated. I think that it is just not cool to mask your feelings in a chat session and make me feel almost stupid by telling me sometime different from what you mean via emoticons.
I believe that emoticons should enrich our communications, helping us to express ourselves better. This is important especially because in instant messaging, we are unable to see the body language or facial expression of those that we are chatting with. This is where emoticons come in handy. Still, perhaps it is a case of different strokes for different folks. Some use them as an enhancer, while others use them as a mask.
Over to you, mobilistas! How do you use emoticons when you chat?