Friday, July 25, 2008

emotiGONE xcP

I am sick of emoticons. The thing is, I am a culprit of emoticon over-use all the time. You are afraid that the tone you are relaying in a written message is not coming across clearly. There are 4--excuse me, 5 emoticons that i use. These are they:

:) generally happy
:( sad
;) I just made fun of you and I'm just kidding. Sarcasm.
:D very happy or laughing
:P I'm being sarcastic or what you or i just said was uber-lame

It reminds me of Orwell's 1984 when they invent Newspeak, the new language that minimizes all supposed unnecessary words and adjectives. Good is good. Plus good = very good. Double plus good, etc. Can I not express myself better than by using a stupid emoticon? Do i know more than 5 adjectives? I think I do.

So why do people use them? Well, you may be afraid the recipient will be offended so you add an emoticon, more specifically, the smiley: :) Everyone seems to have their favorite smiley. They range from the basic to very complicated. :c) 8cB 8S-:DP :W#*;diJSFppp. Aaaah, I'm a bit tired of it. I feel trapped and I think I need to take the advice of Wilson Phillips and break free from the chains. I'm tired of feeling like I have to reassure everyone that I'm just kidding. Isn't it their problem if they take offense to something I say? We know that I am not an offensive person and that I never write about anything remotely serious. And I mean, I have a heart of gold. Or maybe copper. It's shiny, at least. But I'm also very frank in my thoughts and feelings and sometimes I just want to express them as they are, with no reassurances or explanations. I guess in particular instances where I'm emailing someone who doesn't know me very well, I would be more inclined to offer a smiley, particularly because I'm a pretty informal writer. But this is my blog, my home turf. You know how I be.

Thus, I pledge from this moment forth to refrain from inserting an unnecessary emoticon, which does nothing but stifle my writing and just drag me down. This is me, with no emoticons. (<-- I think i just came up with the title of my first album) I challenge you to see if you can sense the sarcasm or decipher my tone without them. If you think, "Jen sounds like a jerk" well, maybe I sound like a jerk. But at least I know I'm free.


MelBroek said...

ha HA! I am so unbelievably thrilled that you referenced 1984. I definitely wrote a dang good paper on the whole Newspeak and the idea that if a society could be censored into only expressing themselves in 6 degrees magnitude, that said society would effectively be stripped of the ability to actually FEEL more than the 6 degrees. Oh man. I am awesome.

I have also been known to express my feelings for something as "double-plus-good" and have a greater appreciation for those who catch on. I feel that as long as I am only SUPPLEMENTING my vocabulary with Newspeak it is not actually limiting me, and I can still be a free individual, capable of many degrees of emotion


P.S. Yes, I realize the irony of using that sticky out tongue thing, and also, I am pretty sure you made up a lot of those "faces" you gave as examples of a complicated emoticon. I don't know what half of them are supposed to be.

Rob said...

Jen: Word

This is me giving you a virtual fist bump.


P.S. Those are my knuckles comin at you for a rock. A new emoticon is born! Sorry to be contrary to your post, but you weren't really going to bring down the emoticon empire with your little blog.

)en said...

This is my own battle, Rob. You do what you will with your emoticons. I do like the knuckles though.

Yeah, most of those faces were made up. I feel that some can get so complicated so I exaggerated for the sake of emphasis, aka a hyperbole. Thank you 10th grade english. You weren't a waste of my time after all.

I won't say it won't be hard though, resisting the urge to throw in an emoticon here and there. They make you feel safe. But they are poison and I feel unwell.

Joel said...

We all need a quest, I suppose. So go fight those windmills that are emoticons.

Natalie R. said...

I hear your difficulty Jen - I've been trying to crack down on my emoticon usage, too. I haven't been able to go cold turkey, but I'm trying only to use them when needed instead of at the end of every sentence!

)en said...

ha ha. it's true though. It's kind of an addiction.

Did anyone notice the dead emoticon i used in the title? I'm so clever.

Also, i debated between that title and this: emoticon:s. <-- he looks confused or disconcerted, right? Clearly.

And I thought Emotigone might be mispronounced by some as Antigone, (An-TIG-oh-knee) but then I realized that is absolutely ridiculous.

Isn't it fun when I type out my thought process on stupid things?