A lost art- the death of Emoticon

old emoticons GIf you were messaging in the 80’s or even in the past decade, then you are familiar with the old school emoticons used to deliver a joke or not, in a standard text form message. Some people might refer to this style as being ‘old school’ but to some of us, they are technically inferior to the modern millennial. The Emoticons were and still can be used to add a little visual effect to any written text message. However, the invention of the more conventional emoji icons became more famous with a growing millennial population and has had a significant impact on their usage.

The emoticons are known to offer a different range of feelings and tone to a text and can be used to portray specific facial gestures in the midst of cyber communications which are always text-based. Some people- especially the current emoji savvy millennials out there, probably don’t have any idea what Emoticons happen to be. Which is why we are exploring Emoticons and what caused their untimely death?

What is an Emoticon?

They are a representation of different facial expressions. The emoticons make use of characters such as numbers, letters and punctuation marks to portray a certain mood or feeling and were mainly a time-saving form of sending messages. The first ASCII emoticons were written originally by Scott Fahlman in the 80’s. The origin of these symbols comes direct from the PLATO IV computer systems that were developed in the 70’s. By the 90’s, the emoticons got widespread usage especially in the internet forums, emails and text messages. In communication technology, they generally played a significant role. Most modern mobile devices and applications have adopted a more modern approach to this technique of using emoticons by providing updated stylized pictures with text-like punctuations just like the ones used in Japan's Kaomoji Emoticons.

The death of Emoticon

old emoticons WLast years review of “The Emoji Movie” surpassed most of the critiques expectations. If this is anything to go by then we should all go back to those days where one could respond to a particular message with a ridiculous looking cat filter over our selfies. Yes folks- cornball cheap and cheesy has reached a peak level of stupid. The current emoji frenzy used by the young generation, and owes its existence from the emoticons 100%. The Emoticons inspired their very own creation and were obviously boosting the impact of emotion which could be felt through each writer. While the emoticon requires a lot more creativity in their creation, the emoji is commonly used as a pictorial shortcut that could portray an emotion that you probably didn’t have enough enough patience to create. But what do these pictorial shortcuts actually signal? You get all the basic emotions and actions and even characters, yet there is something more sinister that gives the feeling of death of written word texts- and the eventual end altogether for emoticons that we all had fallen in love with several years ago?


Why an Emoji anyway?

We all have an idea that the term emoji originated somewhere in Japan around 1998, but they never gained wide usage until recently with the introduction of smartphones. Major players in the smartphone industry such as Apple among others have integrated the emoji’s into their devices, which make them easy to access while using standard texting software. Other social media outlets were just as quick to make sure their emoji’s were all part of the program. With such technology, most of the millennials don't have time to learn old emoticon methods and would rather opt to use quick pick emoji instead just because of how fast they can add them to their post. It’s also no secret that the main reason why the youths cannot live without these simple pictorial shortcuts is that they give the most direct intonation or specific facial expressions of the conveyance within a message. The other problem these days is that they are often abused to death in order to force a false emotion of extreme excitement, something soooo funny, or something that made you laugh until you cry tears.