In defense of the emoticon

In defense of the emoticonI have read that it is inappropriate to use emoticons in business writing.

Bull hockey! :-)

If you’ve read any of the ~10,000 blog posts I have written, you’ll quickly note that I am a fan of the emoticon. You could argue that I use it too much. There’s a good reason for that! If you ever meet me IRL you will quickly learn that I like to cutup. I like to joke. I like to live life with a smile on my face. How am I supposed to convey that in writing, if I don’t use an emoticon?

In addition, Twitter, Facebook et al have reduced our musings down to just a few transient words. Do you know how easy it is to convey the wrong intention or tone without an emoticon? Too easy!

I admit, I send the occasional email without an accompanying emoticon, but I soon get over myself. ;-) I also just finished writing over 33,000 words for my new book, managing to get to the very end without a single smiley! The rebel in me couldn’t help itself though, so you’ll find that the Conclusion finishes with a winky.

My final reason for continuing to use emoticons? The internet, and so-called “social” media, has reduced the number of social interactions we have with people. If you met me in person, you would likely see :-) and :-^ and :-P coming out of my butt! Using them online allows you to get a better sense of what you are letting yourself in for, when sending me a friend request. ;-)

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