How do you use emoticons? What do you want to convey when you use them? Why do you use them?
I use emoticons a lot when texting and commenting. I guess I just want to convey my feelings better in addition to the words that I choose to use. In direct communication, I can convey my feelings with facial expressions, gestures, and other kinds of body language. But with written texts, I cannot do that, so I find emoticons really helpful. Besides, people often say I’m too serious and I often feel misunderstood (even with playful emoticons!), so I really hope that using emoticons can help ease the tension. For example, [It’s ok] feels different from [It’s ok😊] for me.
I often get texts without emoticons and they feel so cold, making me wonder if I did something wrong or if they actually don’t like texting with me. Of course I know that’s not always the case and I keep telling myself that everyone is different, so I kinda shrug it off ’cause perhaps I’m just being too sensitive. However, sometimes I wonder if people actually understand my choice of emoticons the same way I understand them. Hence, here are some meanings that I attach to the emoticons that I use.
:)/😊: Basic smile, just trying to be nice.
😂: Funny (neutral funny).
🤣: It’s really funny! (But I rarely use it ’cause it feels a bit impolite)
🙈: Shy (perhaps I should not see/hear it)
🙊: Ups, perhaps I shouldn’t have said it ✌️
🙉: Ups, perhaps I shouldn’t have heard/listened to it. Sorry, but 😬
😅: It’s funny but somehow I feel bad about it (perhaps I shouldn’t laugh).
😐: Neutral. (Please know I’m trying to not be mad or upset. I’m just trying to be neutral).
:(/😔: Neutral sad.
😭: Emotional (it could be sad, happy, grateful, etc. depending on the context)
🙏: Please, thank you. Sorry.
🙇🏻♀️: Please, I beg you. Sorry.
😱: Overly surprised. Shocked. (Unbelievable! Usually in a neutral/positive way)
✌️: Peace, sorry (I might be upsetting in my previous statement (or it might be controversial/unusual) but I think I’m joking, I don’t in any way mean to hurt you or anyone).
😬: Neutral grin. (I find it funny and I feel smug. It might be bad but I cannot help it. I excuse myself for grinning)
👍: Good/great! Ok. (Sometimes: I agree but I don’t want to talk more bout it. Or I don’t actually agree but I don’t want to argue).
💪: You/I can do it!
😍: Happy (OMG, I love it)
🥰: Happy (OMG, I am blushing and somehow shy, but feel loved)
❤️: Neutral love (I don’t hate you!)
👌: Ok. (Sometimes I use it when I’m upset too, though, like: I don’t actually agree but I don’t want to argue).
😌: Well, … (U know I/it might be right, right?)
🤗: Well, … (We know the truth might be upsetting but let’s not get upset about it).
😘: OMG, thank you, I love you.
:/🤔: Wondering about something or if it’s right or wrong. (It might not be nice but I have to say it).
😒: Oh, please. It’s not funny.
😑: Oh, please. it’s not funny, but less upset than the previous emoticon. Sometimes I use them interchangeably.
😤: Mad. Damn, I’m really upset!
🤭: OMG, it’s funny, n I feel like a devil doing some kind of evil tricks. I shouldn’t say that, but I don’t regret saying that.
🤷🏻♀️: Neutral indifferent. (I don’t know).
🤦🏻♀️: Upset. (How can it be?!)
🙅🏻♀️: No. (I just say NO).
🙆🏻♀️: Well, haha, but I don’t know what to say, so…
💁🏻♀️: Well, haha, let’s just shrug it off. (It actually has similar feeling to 🤗 but while 🤗 feels neutral and composed, 💁🏻♀️ feels a bit playful and “naughty” if not nonchalant)
😎: Proud. (Look what I did. How cool is that?!).
😏: Teasing and smug; it’s like, “Are you sure you’re not hiding something? Just so you know, I know something.” Or, “What will you do now?” with a smug feeling.
😴: Sleepy. (Sometimes: Well, I don’t care anymore, I’ll just sleep it away).
😮: Confused, but more like wondering, not shocked.
😉: Wink (just being nice in a playful way, it’s slightly interchangeable with basic smile :)/😊 but this one 😉 has this kind of feeling: Don’t worry bout it, you can leave it to me, and you don’t need to feel bad about it, you know I’m good at it, right?)
😋: Excited. It looks good/nice/fun/etc. I can’t wait!
I guess they are the emojis that I usually use. I use other emoticons too though but perhaps I don’t have to write them all here because that would be too many. LoL And sometimes I use them altogether to show how my feelings might change in order. For example: When I use 😱😂🙈😅 in this order, this would mean, “OMG, I didn’t know this. Is this for real? It’s funny. But this makes me feel shy and embarassed. It’s interesting but I feel bad bout it. I cannot help it. However, when I use them in this order 😱😅🙈 😂, this would mean, “OMG, is this for real? I didn’t know this. But, oh, may I feel bad actually, it makes me shy and guilty, but, ugh, who cares, it’s funny!” See how the feelings change differently? Haha I’m not sure if I’m actually just using this to justify my use of emoticons but really, it feels different to me no matter how slightly. What worries me is just the fact that the emoticons that I send using my phone actually changes when it’s read on someone else’s phone, and it might cause some kind of misinterpretation or misunderstanding. Sometimes it’s because the phone doesn’t support it. I know sometimes I received an emoticon but it doesn’t show on my phone so it only appears as a square symbol. But at least I know that they do use emoticons, and it makes me curious about what kind of emoticons they’re sending me.
I think it’s amazing, though: how all these emoticons can represent our feelings and how they might be interpreted. I mean, I don’t really look up what each emoticon means when I decide to use them. I just take a look at them and choose the one that I think resembles my feelings the most – or what I want people to think about what I feel the most. And sometimes I do feel that some people actually use them the same way, at least if I understood them correctly. But, do you perhaps understand them differently?
Sometimes I do read that some people argue about the use of certain emoticons like when they should not use a certain emoticon in a certain context or when people use the wrong emoticon. It’s interesting. But I guess, I appreciate people who try to use emoticons to convey their feelings. That way their texts won’t feel so cold. Even if it’s a negative emoticon, I’ll still prefer it to no emoticons at all. For example: [Ok 😤] would be preferable than just [Ok] for me. I mean, the first would tell me that it’s an ok but expressed in an angry way, but with the latter I won’t know if it’s really an okay, a neutral ok, or if it’s actually not an okay but maybe they’re too upset to say the otherwise. It is prone to misinterpretation that might lead to overthinking, so I don’t like it. At least with the first I can try to do something to make the situation better, right?
How do you use emoticons, though? 😮