I really love this little invention. The smiley face at the end of a text message or an email or some form of digital communication has suddenly exploded to literally millions of symbols. If I count every language in which an emoticon has been made, including the English language, I probably will be very surprised as to the variety of expressiveness that we are capable of using. And the list continues to grow each day. Perhaps just as fast as we are understanding our emotions, a different emoticon or emoji is added to the huge dictionary of Emoticons that are listed. Every color, religion, emotional face that has been humanly made is out there literally for every occasion too. Birthdays, anniversaries, happy days, sad days, achievements, feeling blah?, feeling happy ! Feeling confused. The list is endless.
In the “old” days of using a phone, I would express my emotions with words to the person at the other end of the phone. When I used to write letters on paper (yes I am dating myself) then I would use words to express my thoughts. In this current fast paced era of digital communication where the emotion, thought, idea has to be communicated instantly, I find myself using shorthand texting language. Accidentally I use it in speech too. Yet no email or text message is complete without an emoticon. Interestingly if I try sending the same message without and then with the emoticon I have noticed a difference in response. If I have an angry emoticon 🙁 I also get back an angry response. If I send a happy 🙂 response I get back a happier and more compliant response. SO the emoticon is basically my feelings being transmitted with the message that I choose to deliver without me ever having to see another human face or shaking another human hand.
It is a long time held understanding by many psychologists that communication is not just transmitted by words. Eye movement and direction of gaze, body language, body shifting, tone of discussion, volume of discussion, hand gestures etc are all non verbal forms of communication that are transmitted during a verbal conversation. Emoticons have replaced all that !! The frequency that I transmit has been replaced by symbols or mini digital works of art at the end of a sentence. There is now no need for me to meet, greet or communciate with another human being either in person or video chat, as long as my sentence is completed by my “perceived emoticon”. The only caveat is that I must be absolutely clear in what I am writing and expressing with the right emoticon. Well that is where the rub lies, isn’t it? Effective and clear communication is not our strong suit when we meet someone anyway. That is the reason why when we are on a “date” we desperately try to communicate our thoughts to the other person, yet not always effectively. We leave behind many emotions in the conversation, and it is upto the artful conversationer to pick up the subtle clues. Is he interested in me? Is she flirting with me? Where do we go from here? etc etc We hold back out of fear. I hold back out of insecurity. You hold back out of confusion. All subtle energetic clues are woven into the verbal and nonverbal communication. Now however a different story ensues. .. no need for speech, just find the right emoticon and I am all set. The problem is I cannot always find the right one. And so my emotion is only partly transmitted, or at least as close to as I can get it. Perhaps a smile with one tear, because I cannot fully really express that I am sad, but I want to show compassion. Perhaps a smile with my tongue out, because I cannot find the right emotion to express my frustration coupled with confusion and fear.
My emoticon is not clear enough as there is no emoticon to express what I myself do not choose to fully express. Clarity is hard to in vibe when my own mind is full of confusion. Clarity is hard to express when my heart is bubbling with emotions. Clarity is hard to present to another when my mind, spirit and consciousness is not in sync. Clarity is hard to nail down into a true emotion as I have not even scratched the surface of the depths of my own spirit. Moreover it is my emotion and last I checked it is someone else making all these emoticons and emojis, which means since no one really understands ME, I do not even have an emoticon to tell my tale of joy or woe. I have played with emoticons quite extensively. In fact, lined up these little symbols in a “sentence” to see if my “emotions” could be expressed even more effectively without any words. Alas the interpretation was vast and varied depending on who read them. My true story and how I felt was lost. Unfortunately this is the same when I, you, we verbalize my, your or our thoughts. We have digitalized pretty much everything else in our lives. The endeavor to undertake the same task with our emotions is clearly in full swing. It does however leave something to be desired. The human element is always missing and can never be eliminated.
I guess I am going to have to talk to you in person after all, and you will have to do the same with me, well at least until they invent an emotional robot to replace us both… 🙂 😉 lmao lol