Tuesday, January 12, 2021

emoji snobbery

Historically, I find myself being a bit of a snob about emojis and other decorations for electronic communication. Which is weird, I like to think of myself as an egalitarian! Chat and email, to a lesser extent) are casual mediums, yet typed text is a bit "cold" - lacking cues of gesture and tone, so I should appreciate ways to warm it up. And in my head, I do.

Way back when, closer to my English Major days (I was a double major in that and computer science) maybe I thought "literate folks should be able to express via words, damn it" - and that stance seems to be where my heart is too often stuck. In practice, I'll shun a casual form of expressing, then come around to it, eventually - and I think finally even use it more than most. (I seem to use laughing emojis to end my phrases a lot, even if somethings not being funny. )

I'm not sure if I was ever against punctuation "emoticons"/smilies when they were typographical jokes:
:) :-/ :D etc. I definitely rebelled when AOL messenger start popularizing cartoon versions of the same idea... now I see that the current palette is far more expressive - with a little room for trouble as some emoji read differently on different devices. 

Then for the longest time, I was against "LOL". I started using it strictly sardonically, now kind of a mix. "Ha!" is still better.

My current "I sort of hate it now but might come around" is per-message emoji decoration. (Heh, and I know there's a blue bubble/green bubble thing, where the decorating is handled more gracefully on iPhones than on Android devices) 

Especially during work Slack convos, if it's an argument or general discussion with some disagreement... adding a "+1" to one side seems to be piling on a bit, maybe?

One friend is really free with per-comment hearts and smile decorations in FB messenger. And again, my head can see it as the logical equivalent to nodding and other non-verbal feedback in conversations, but my gut is slow to warm up to it.

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