Emoticonally challenged

Back in 2006 I wrote about why I hate emoticons. Basically if you use them incessantly or if your online dialogue is peppered with LOLs and ROFLs then I’ll probably find online discourse with you really annoying.

Emoticons and LOLs are starting to appear in actual verbal conversation. People now indicate laughter by saying LOL LOL LOL. If each of those LOLs is indicative of a bout of real life laughter then basically you’re abbreviating your response to things and packing in added hilarity. People also now feel the need to articulate the expression on their face – by saying “sadface” where they’d traditionally :( in typed text. This is sad. Particularly in the light of research that shows face to face communication is about 58 percent non-verbal, 35 percent “vocal” (tone etc)  and only 7% verbal (the words you use). And it’s annoying. This is a bit ranty, and it’s really just an intro to a story I just read and thought I’d share…

We may never know the degree of sorrow felt by a young Novosibirsk woman over the traffic cop she struck and killed with her car while driving drunk. But a senior traffic safety official said the “cynicism” of the suspect is exemplified by the text message – complete with emoticon – she sent her boyfriend after killing the officer:

“Honey, I killed a cop. I’m sorry :( What should I do?”

Yeah, nice. Her emotions are so beautifully captured by a colon and a parenthesis. That, to pick up another piece of online lingo is a “sympathy fail”.

The boyfriend’s priceless PR advice:

Create a “scandal and don’t say or sign anything.”

That is all.

The author

Nathan runs St Eutychus. He loves Jesus. His wife. His daughter. His son. His other daughter. His dog. Coffee. And the Internet. He is the campus pastor at Creek Road South Bank, a graduate of Queensland Theological College (M. Div) and the Queensland University of Technology (B. Journ). He spent a significant portion of his pre-ministry-as-a-full-time-job life working in Public Relations, and now loves promoting Jesus in Brisbane and online. He can't believe how great it is that people pay him to talk and think about Jesus.