Has my generation been negatively impacted by emoticons and texting? No, not everyone has. Emoticons do come in handy sometimes 🙂
I got my first cell phone in eighth grade. It was a simple flip phone that took forever to text with. But then again, that was the era when ppl made txts short. I don’t think the intended use for texting was to tell your friends your whole life story, but nonetheless I do this myself from time to time.
Emoticons have come a long way from the simple smiley face. Why is this? Probably because people realized that by texting they are missing something. Something that would automatically be present if you were talking face-to-face (or even on the phone) with someone. Prosody.
Prosody is the rhythm and intonation of speech. This simply cannot be achieved through written communication, whether it be text messages, essays, or books. Using emoticons seems to be a start to fixing this problem. Now there are so many kinds of faces people include in their written messages to imitate what their own faces would look like during a face-to-face encounter. At some point we have all come across messages where we weren’t sure if our friend was being sarcastic or not. You don’t know whether to reply with a laugh or an “are you ok?”. Basically emoticons save busy college students like us from having to pick up a phone. It’s unfortunate, but it’s the truth.
Emoticons are great but just promise me one thing: you won’t hide behind a colon and close parenthesis for your whole life. Get out there and remember there is a telephone function on your smartphone! You won’t lose prosody that way!