CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER
CONNECTING PEOPLE TO IDEAS AND TO EACH OTHER

Emojis Don’t Give Meaning to Our Deepest Feelings

We Need More Than Smiley and Frowny Faces to Avoid Misunderstandings

It’s been 35 years since Scott Fahlman, a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University, urged users of an online bulletin board to add two character sequences to their messages: ‘:-)’ to mark jokes; and ‘:-(‘ to indicate the preceding text was not meant humorously. The smiley (or emoticon) was born.

A mythology grew up around the importance of inserting graphic elements at the ends of written online text: Because we aren’t face-to-face with our interlocutor, we need to provide additional information to convey what our demeanor, body stance, or vocal intonation …

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