Whenever you type in the key sequence for a smiley face, you probably don’t think that emoticons in real life have a chance or a use. They exist in the cyberspace, to express what we feel like, because there are no other ways to express these feelings. We must remember that emoticons started out before webcams existed, so people chatting only through text had no other way to add emotions to their words.
Why Do People Still Use Emoticons?
One human characteristic is called habit. It is easier to change someone’s political or religious views than their habits. We don’t even think when we type 🙂 at the end of a text to show that we are pleased with our ideas or find it funny. It is just a matter of habit.
At a certain point, someone may have considered using emoticons in real life – because they are universal representations of feelings. They are not open to interpretations, because they mean the same thing for an American, a Japanese, an Italian and a Palestinian.
Globalization and Usage of Emoticons in Real Life
When we have huge anti—globalization protests at Davos or wherever world leaders meet, the protesters have one thing in mind: make their idea known and understood. There are people of different nations and cultures, trying to convey the same joint message.
There is one thing uniting them and giving them a single voice: the internet and it’s non-verbal symbols. This is why we have emoticons in real life: resized, printed on placards and used more and more often in offline events.
Blurring the Lines Between Online and Offline
People start to integrate their online activities with the real life to the point where there is harder to make a clear distinction between the two of them. We live in the age were people start dating online, share all important life events on the social media, do business, get jobs and buy things online.
Online activities are not things that people do in their spare time – they are a part of their active life. Internet and mobile data help people take crucial decisions such as buying a house and investing in stocks. Online friends are invited to live streaming events such as weddings. And now, online elements of communication are being used in the offline environment.
Having emoticons in real life is not a signal that people forgot how to communicate otherwise than through online symbols. It means that people are finding an international language that breaks all barriers and can be understood without any problems.
As our lives expand beyond the cities, countries and continents we live in, so do our needs to be understood by others and to give a voice to our worries and protests. There is no wonder that we will see more and more emoticons in real life, as means to send our message across various languages and cultures.
Photo source: http://new.pentagram.com/2015/03/earthmojis/