There’s an interesting debate among some members of the Facebook community forum regarding the use of emoticons smileys in expressing one’s thoughts and emotions. One side argues Facebook emoticons are just a set of punctuation marks and so cannot fully capture human feelings. They say emoticons are not as good as words in expressing thoughts.
But the many fans of Facebook emoticons are quick to defend that these “punctuation marks” are useful, even a necessity, in FB chat. During a face to face conversation, people have body language and tone of voice to help them show, emphasize, and enhance their true thoughts and feelings. In online chat, however, the person you’re talking to cannot see you. Since your body language and tone of voice are of no use, how do you show your thoughts and feelings, your attitude and mood? There seems to be no better way than through use of smileys emoticons. These little pictures can help deliver your full message.
For instance, a friend tells you you’re ugly. You may respond in either three ways.
“I’m not ugly.”
“I’m not ugly.”
“I’m not ugly.”
Since the other person doesn’t see you, there’s no way they can tell whether the response is serious or meant as a joke. Adding an emoticon at the end of each message, however, can help clarify things.
“I’m not ugly. >:O” – You are mad that your friend called you ugly.
“I’m not ugly.:( ” — You are sad or upset that your friend told you you’re ugly.
“I’m not ugly.;) – You are taking the statement as a joke, no offense taken.
Now imagine there are no Facebook smileys and you need to write out your facial expressions or the tone of your voice every time you make a comment.
“I’m not ugly. The statement is said in an angry manner.”
“I’m not ugly. I’m saying that with sarcasm in my voice.”
As shown, smiley emoticons are essential in Facebook chat because they help relay the full meaning of your statement in a more efficient way.
Expressing Your Thoughts with Facebook Emoticons
Today, there are 26 known Facebook emoticons. Here’s the complete list (with their meanings).
Devil emoticon 3:) – This emoticon can suggest naughty thoughts.
Robot emoticon:|] – If you don’t feel like sharing your thoughts or when you are in a reserved mood.
Shark emoticon (^^^) – Use this if you want to warn someone of danger or threat.
Heart >3 or kiss:-*- Add this to a statement if you want to show your love or affection to someone or towards an idea or thing.
Penguin <(") - It can add some amount of cuteness to your message.
Woot emoticon O.o – If you find a statement weird, or if you can’t believe what a person just told you.
Squint emoticon -_- — This is a warning that you’re getting irate.
Gasp emoticon:O – To show your amazement.
Wink emoticon;) – It can connote several things. One instance of use is when you want to show you understand a statement, you put a wink at the end of a message.
Tongue emoticon:P – If you’re feeling a little naughty or cheeky.
Sunglasses emoticon 8-| – If life’s on the sunny side of things.
Glasses emoticon 8) – If you think a person or a statement is geeky or nerdy.
Smiling emoticon:) or big smile emoticon:D or smiling cat emoticon:3 – To show you feel happy or contented or pleased.
Kiki emoticon ^_^ – If you are extremely happy.
Sad:( or crying emoticon:'( – When you’re unhappy or depressed.
Aiya emoticon >:O – This means you can’t believe what someone just said.
Putnam:putnam: – This represents Chris Putnam, the person who designed Facebook. You can use this emoticon if you think an idea or a person is intelligent.
Pacman:v- the iconic game character can be used if you feel like jumping for joy.
Err emoticon:/ or duhh emoticon >:-( – If you want to tell someone, in a cute way, that you’re disagreeing with them.
Angel emoticon O:) – If you think someone’s like an angel.
42 emoticon -:42: – this is a reference to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – 42 is “the answer to life, the universe, and everything.”
Facebook Emoticons: Integral Unit of Chat Language
Anything that allows people to communicate efficiently and effectively is surely a good thing. In FB chat, using smileys emoticons appropriately help bring about good conversation.