emoticons

In the world of instant messaging, there has been a disturbing trend of late to replace the emoticons of old with new, graphic icons. And this is just not good. I may be betraying my curmudgeonly, everything-new-sucks nature, but much like I’ve never enjoyed a MMORPG nearly as much as I enjoyed the MUSHes & MUSEs of old, these new graphical emoticons just seem, well, cheesy. A little yellow smiley face is an old, pre-web cliché. Variations on that theme, if anything, are even more so. The text-based emoticons were part of a new internet-based language, formed in many ways for expediency — both typing speed and bandwidth. And yes, neither of those are terribly relevant now, but these graphical emoticons feel to me like another example of a uncomprehending old-school media empire attempting to reduce the nature of online interactions to a ‘traditional’ level. There’s not even an option on my ICQ to turn off this translation of my emoticons into graphics that I can find.

On a side note, if you haven’t already, don’t upgrade to the new version of ICQ lite. I made that mistake yesterday, and the only ‘enhancements’ as far as I can see are that there is now an ad-box atop the contact list, and adverts beneath every message window. God-damned fucking banner ads.

10 Replies to “emoticons”

  1. Here, here Steve! I’m with you. I was disturbed that that when I installed MSN messenger and sent someone a message that suddenly had this very goofy cartoonish happy face in it, instead of the nice low-tech ironic emoticon I had wished to convey! I guess that O’Reilly Emoticon little booklet will one day be a collectors item…

  2. Here, here Steve! I’m with you. I was disturbed that that when I installed MSN messenger and sent someone a message that suddenly had this very goofy cartoonish happy face in it, instead of the nice low-tech ironic emoticon I had wished to convey! I guess that O’Reilly Emoticon little booklet will one day be a collectors item…

  3. I’m with you on the emoticon thing, too. And thanks for the heads-up on ICQ lite — I nearly upgraded but decided it could wait. Now I won’t bother at all.

  4. I’m with you on the emoticon thing, too. And thanks for the heads-up on ICQ lite — I nearly upgraded but decided it could wait. Now I won’t bother at all.

  5. I’m with you on the emoticons, too. A true emoticon is friendly (even, in a weird way, when not), the graphic ones are just nauseating … aprt of the disneyfication of the internet. >:(

  6. I’m with you on the emoticons, too. A true emoticon is friendly (even, in a weird way, when not), the graphic ones are just nauseating … aprt of the disneyfication of the internet. >:(

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