No media in this post but I’d like to take a second to talk about emoticons. Silly, maybe, but I’ve been thinking about their use and value in texting.
Today’s communication methods are changing faster than ever before. Humans used to have 100% face-to-face communication, which, over the years, turned into writing letters and reading books then using electricity to transmit messages over the telegraph, to the telephone, to radio and TV, then eventually to the internet and mobile phones. It would be interesting to conduct a study to see how much of my daily communication is actually face-to-face now; I’d probably make an argument that around 40% of my communication is via the Internet or texting now.
What can be said for this? Well, for one, the human voice is not involved. For thousands of years, humans have been communicating primarily by speech. This happened right up until the invention of the Internet and texting. Now we can send instant messages to anyone in the world. I think there is something to be said for the lack of use of body language or voice inflection in human-to-human contact because humans have not had time to evolve or adapt to all of this technology. Only time will tell.
Then we look at emoticons or emojis. It’s almost as if human beings have this innate urge to communicate visually with others. Icons like little “thumbs up” signs and cat faces and a variety of human emotion faces help add content to simple written messages. It is extremely interesting to me that we turn towards these images to help add to our communication – it definitely points to our need to understand visual queues while communicating. Obviously I’m not a scientist or researcher, but I can’t wait to see what the future holds on this topic.