Emoticon Haters League

by | Sep 23, 2007 | Uncategorized | 2 comments

Somehow, tonight at my friend Ilene’s birthday party dinner, the topic of emoticons came up.

Daimian told us he just wasn’t into emoticons. Stanley agreed he didn’t like them either. I felt such joy to find my compatriots–other people who are opposed to emoticons on principle (what that principle is, other than snobbery, I’ve never really been sure). For years I DISCRIMINATED against anyone who used emoticons, as in, wouldn’t even go out with them! As they became more and more pervasive I had to soften and allow that a lot of guys, especially guys in the tech field, use them. I recognize that tone is a difficult thing to convey in email and sometimes they do have their place, when irony, friendliness, or humor is not clear. I try to accomplish this with words: “ha ha.”

I told Daimian and Stanley that I never use emoticons, but I might have been lying. I might have used one once or twice but it was extremely rare and only if I was dating someone who used them regularly. And professionally, of course. Now that I am creating community among teens and twentysomethings (being an ancient 34) at StyleMob.com, I’ve picked up one that I can live with and even sort of like: “<3”, which it took me 30 minutes of diligent searching to learn means “heart.” At first I thought it meant sideways ice cream cone or bum.

Stanley admitted that he had used an emoticon recently and even in a text message. Double whammy, wow! His roommate brought someone home and the next day he didn’t get to see him so he texted him “Have fun;)?” He describing this as having sent “semicolon, closed parens. ” “You mean you sent him a wink?” I asked. I found it hysterical that he couldn’t even call it what it is. He had such a look of remorse and regret on his face. “Why did I do that?” he said was the feeling. “Did you feel a wave of self-loathing?” I asked. He nodded yes. I wondered what a self-loathing emoticon would look like.


  1. Ilene

    Cute story….is THAT what was going on over on that side of the table?


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Hi! I’m Sasha

Executive and Life Coach on a mission to help women connect with their bodies to pursue their truest desires in the bedroom and the world.

Author of Quirkyalone: A Manifesto for Uncompromising Romantics (HarperCollins) + To-Do List: From Buying Milk to Finding a Soul Mate, What Our Lists Reveal About Us (Simon & Schuster).

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