Express Emotions using Emoticons

Debika Bandopadhyay - Author 

Go back to your school days when you didn’t have smartphones or any such texting devices. We used to express emotions using emoticons, on the back of notebook. Of course, the GenZ's are an exception.. Hahaha.. But yeah, the GenZ's have a complete different views. And this article is relevant to everyone. So yeah, we all might have probably used chits in the classroom to talk and have had chats on the last page of our notebooks.

How did we Express Emotions using Emoticons?

To show laughter we didn’t use rofl, lmao, lol terms and also there was no chance to laugh because of the presence of the teacher. In fact we drew a circle with two eyes and a grinning mouth which depicts laughter. That was an emoticon. When decorating cards, we generally used heart shapes, smiley grinning faces, and in farewell cards, we drew sad faces. Do you remember? And our teachers used to write “good” with an emoticon in our homework. So now you know for how many decades you’ve been using emojis or emoticons as a means of communication.

Teacher grading with emoticon

You must be wondering from where did these yellow circles full of expressions first appear? Is there any year in particular? We can trace back the use of pictorial representation just like emoticons to  the world's largest ancient civilization, the Harappan civilization. They didn't have alphabets back then, so they have used images like ox, fire, fish, tree & a lot more, and the numbers used were more than four thousand. Surprising! Isn't it? Now let us see how, with the advent of technology, in the current era, it changed.

In Harappan civilization signs and symbols were used to communicate.

The first use of expression 'emoticons' can be traced back to the year 1982 when just colon, semicolon, brackets and alphabets were used as expressions. The emojis we use today were actually developed in the year 2012. It's only an year less than a decade since we started using the emojis! 

Emoticons or emojis are those small characters which appear on your keyboard. Each one of them conveys a different meaning individually. As the technology updated, our chat box also started appearing colorful. This box full of emoticons made chatting more fun and easy. When facial experience or body language couldn’t be seen, in that place emoticons plays its role, and a major one. These small yellow circles have the power to completely change the tone of a message. They convey messages efficiently and in a way that words cannot. Despite knowing its values and using them all these years we still fail in using them properly.

Why is improper use of emoji an issue?

“Emoticons are facial expressions not your emotions, so use it wisely.” Many people use emojis without knowing the actual meaning of it. You probably cannot use any emoji to share feelings. It might show your facial expression but a small emoji can never completely describe your emotions. You need to keep this in mind while you are sending emojis. If we notice elderly members of our family they often struggle with identifying proper emojis. They have mistaken crying emoji with laughing with tears of joy, and send it to express grief without knowing. I have also used high five emoji as “Namaste” (hands joining) for years until one day I came to know the actual meaning (fact).

Namaste Emoji is actually a High-Five emoticon. Is Namaste emoji not actually a Namaste emoji?

If we send these to someone who knows the meaning properly it leads to miscommunication. Now you can imagine what the consequences of using wrong emoji are. 

I recommend that in a professional email, never use emojis to express what you feel. There are a bunch of words in English dictionary. Use them instead. Many professionals don’t even like using emojis for formal chats or messages. So, it is better to avoid using them in such places. Don’t always use emojis to express grief or happiness or anger. It is better to not talk about such situations through emoji or chats instead use telephonic conversation and more better, if you are comfortable, use video calls. It connects you to your loved ones and well wishers more closely. This will help in two way communication and helps you understand each other very well.

Eggs decorated like expression of emoji

Vary on the situation

Emojis cannot be used everywhere and in every situation but in few situations we don’t have any other option but to use them. Say, you are in a subway and in this situation, you probably cannot type a big message so then it is okay to use emojis. Even then, keep in mind the meaning of the message. Be careful when, where, what and how to you use emoji in the workplace. Because you cannot take the risk of conveying a wrong message through a wrongly used emoticon. It’s better to take a call, for work related queries. Many people aren’t comfortable sharing their situation on telephonic calls or chats and when asked about it, they either respond with laughing emoji or just a simple smile emoji to make the conversation light-hearted. This leads to misinterpretation.

Today there are various forms of emoticons from the dialogue based emoticons to the animated ones. But are they really helpful for conveying messages properly? They must be used for fun and enjoyment but not every time you poke someone or make fun of them and later cover it up with laughing emoji. You can never ease someone’s sorrow through emoticons. They can only be used in jovial, less important matters and mostly to be avoided in serious situations. Any emoji should be used only after you gain complete knowledge and meaning of the emoji or else you might land yourself in a troublesome situation which might be sometimes impossible to cover-up.

Chatbox filled with emoticons. WhatsApp emojis

Emoticons for fun

You’ve had a busy day, feeling exhausted and lazy to type. Consider that, emoticons are waiting for you. For a funny conversation we generally use laughing with tears of joy, and also laughing so hard that tears are falling down. Emojis makes the conversation light, funny and will show how much you’re enjoying chatting with them. It shows a personal approach towards another person, a personal touch and a comfortable feeling. Besides just expressing thoughts, emojis make the chat more eye-catching. These days, social media apps have also enabled the reaction feature which shows which emoji you use for reacting on their posts, comments, stories and texts. The knowledge of emoji is must for its proper usage. Though you surely can use emoticons to share your views whether you find the message funny, sad, surprising or annoying. Beware to choose them wisely my friend.

Have ever got confused about any emoticon, about which you got to know later? Comment below and share it with everyone! It might be even a silly moment. Do not feel shameful. We all have crossed those paths. don't worry. 

I recommend my readers to read "I've Got Your Number - One ring and he's yours", by Sophie Kinsella

Fact File: 

Eggs image: Unsplash
IVC symbols: NCERT Text Books


Post a Comment


  1. Definitely, helpful❤️

  2. It's really good♥️♥️♥️ .. you've written very well . keep going❤️

  3. The content is very helpful. Keep writing 😊.

  4. Sunday ho ya Monday roj khao anda...πŸ₯š

  5. Well done my girl. Long way to go. ��������( hope it's the correct usage)

  6. An interesting content πŸ‘well done ✅

  7. Bhalo hoyche❤️bt onk boroπŸ™‚


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