A Smiley Issue
One emoticon that has thrived under all circumstances -the smiley:-),has certainly stolen a march (or smile:-)) on its counterparts! While other emoticons are, in the main situation-specific,smileys in the abstract are liberally scattered with abandon .The apparently innocuous smiley has an interesting history, with some countries having had it as a registered trademark! One could break the ice, in a trice, at its price! It’s likened to brand equity.”Smile(y) and the world buys into you!” seems to be the norm at playing the market. It’s an effective tool in one’s repertoire and when used with some degree of discretion, is every smooth operator’s recipe for positive reinforcement.
Having said that, has this brand equity taken a hit? Does the number of smileys truly represent the general air of positivity? If so, do smileys, by reciprocity, contribute to more smiles and foster an enhanced sense of goodness around, by the thumb rule of ‘The Secret’?Or is it, more often than not, sparked by a negative environment and surfaces as a ‘Black Swan’? In the latter case, most of us would have to incur a revision of belief! While the situation is unpredictable at best, most of us fall prey to the smiley syndrome! Can we answer this question with certitude: Is a message with undertones of seriousness,obfuscated or accentuated with the use of smileys?:-):-)
I tried to decipher the message from a certain person I’d just befriended. He was the impassive kind, whose smiles seemed miles away! “Have you seen Dr. Bansilal in the department?:-):-):-):-)”.No kidding, 4 smileys thrown in for good measure! I bemusedly tried to fathom whether it was the mere thought of Bansilal, the person’s mood, conceiving Bansilal being with yours truly, and so on and so forth, that elicited the smiles. My pre-occupation got the better of me as 5 kms to the destination took less time than I could have imagined! I was later led to understand that he was an inveterate and prolific non-smiling smiley generator! Regardless of whether I’d have gone through the motions with the same celerity, sans the smileys, I was certainly playing into his smiles (illusory, of course).
The smiley serves to connote a sense of purpose by its innate nature of positivity. It seeks to win you over with a radiance that ineffably beams on you, and the notion of “All’s well with the world:-)”dawns. On the other hand, unabashedly going overboard the smiley way in tricky spots may not always be taken in a lighter vein and could breed indifference/contempt as it can be as provocative as it is evocative! Interject smileys in touchy areas and one could get into hot water, giving way to other emoticons! A feeling of,more or less, less is more, takes over.
Some people associate smileys with vulnerability, that’s best dished out to a reserved (pun intended) table. Some prefer exclamations to make proclamations and declarations. Some others try their hand at other faces to suit their phase. Others lay emphasis on only the crux and feel it’s best conveyed without the rest.
A smiley once in a while may take you many a mile, but make sure you do justice to hit the right notes and not,with a vengeance, vitiate the beauty of an emoticon that can at the very least be smiled at:-).If your smile is not as broad as that of your smiley’s, take a moment to discover if you’re not the only one smiling! A tribute to all the non-smiling smiley churners and smiling non-smile(y)ing perpetrators, where the intersection of their set of smileys and that of associated smiles is a null one:-)!