How to Correctly Use Emoticons

How often do you text, WhatsApp, chat, message your friends, co-workers and family members? And do you use emoticons to express your emotions and feelings? The effective use of emoticons enhances communication and informs the receiver of the temper, mood and tone of the sender. Textual communication carries an emotional aspect to it which can subtly affect the recipient with the appropriate use of emoticons during the conversation.

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With the growing epidemic of social media and texting, this pictorial representation of facial expressions has played a significant role in communication through technology. Although they are informal, they might just play an important role in bringing additional meaning to your conversations by clarifying your tone. Today you will encounter these little beasties in almost all informal conversations as a strategically placed emote informs the reader that an otherwise strange or rude declaration was only mean as a joke. (eg: You moron! 😛 )


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But beware – the excessive use of emotes may make you seem childish and can annoy others. Emotes being an easy way to convey your mood, should probably only be used when you mean them – although we’re sure some would disagree. But stating your feeling verbally is possible and effective. It makes you more expressive. And attaching positive emotes to rude and mean remarks may not always make them sound okay.


On the other hand emotes are one of the best tool for elevating the emotional clarity of digital messages. So here is a basic guide to the use of emotes in everyday conversation! 🙂

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SITUATIONS (where they can be used appropriately)

  The happy smile faceSymbol- J, 🙂Effect-positive Used with greetings- good morning J,heyJ night J,thanking someone,welcoming, invitations and whenever warmth is to be conveyed.
 The laugh/ toothy grinSymbol- 😀Effect- positive Sharing humour, goodwill, a good laugh over a joke or when you’re super excited.
  • Congratulations 😀
  • Happy Birthday 😀
The cheeky tongue sticking out faceSymbol- 😛Effect-positive/ negative(sarcasm) Informal teasing, humour, light sarcasm or just another way of saying ‘just kidding’ 😛 eg:
  • You’re an idiot! 😛
  • I hate you 😛
  The straight face, unsureSymbol- :/ :lEffect- negative Indifference, the ‘I don’t care attitude.’
  • Person- you’re dumb

Me- :/

  • Go to hell :l
  The winkSymbol- 😉Effect- positive Light humour, sharing a secret or something controversial, being kind of flirty, being cynical or pulling someone’s leg.
  • You’re cute 😉
  • Oh I see 😉
  Angry faceSymbol- X( :@Effect- should be negative When you are offended, pissed off or furious. It shows frustration.
  • How could you :@
  • Person-they cancelled the trip.

Me- X(

  The kissSymbol- :* Represents a kiss, affection.
  • I love you :*

I love you more :* :*

Nooo! I love you more :* :* :* :*

  The uninterested/tired tsk-tsk faceSymbol-  -.- , -_-Effect- slightly negative When something stupid is said, when you are sleepy, bored or frustrated.
  • Person: Whatever!

Me -.-

  Surprised, ShockSymbol- :O , o.OEffect – situational Surprised, amazed, staring.eg:
  • Really :O
  • Person-(include technical jargon)

Me- o.O

  The frown/sad faceSymbol- L 🙁Effect – negative Shows unhappiness with what’s being said or done.
  • That’s sad L
  • No more tickets L
CryingSymbol- :’(Effect- negative Depressed, unhappy, when you’re cranky.
  • I don’t want to go :’(
  • I miss you soo much :’(
  CoolSymbol- Bl The cool attitude.
  • I’m so cool B)
  • Yo! Bl

In addition to these basic emoticons there are many more which can be used to support your conversation at the right moments!


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