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Emoticons - in the modern world, not many messages, whether in the form of SMS or those sent via instant messaging, are devoid of them. Emoticons are used by young people, but more and more often they are used by those with a slightly higher number of springs on their necks. Usually we do not pay much attention to exactly what "emotes" we use in a given message, the truth is that an improperly used emoticon can… completely change the tone of our message to one that we would not necessarily expect. Check out what the most popular smileys mean and learn about their history!


  1. Emoticons: story
  2. Emoticons: meaning
  3. Emoticons: how they affect the messages we send
  4. Emoticons and emoji and animoji

Emoticons- their presence in the message, e.g. in the form of :-),; (or xD does not surprise anyone today. Emoticons are ideograms usually composed of a small number of graphic signs that are supposed to reflect human emotions Is it good that phrases such as "I'm happy", "I'm surprised" or "I'm sad" are increasingly often replaced by emotes in human communication? saving time, on the other hand, it impoverishes people's ability to talk directly to each other about their emotions.

Emoticons: story

The term emoticon is a polonized version of the word "emoticon", which in turn was created by combining the words "emotion" and "icon". The moment when the emoticon was first used varies, but in general Scott Fahlman is considered to be the father of the graphic representation of emotions. It was this man, on September 19, 1982, at exactly 11:44 am, who used the emoticon he was sending: -).

Today, how to read emoticons is certainly obvious, but initially there were even very accurate descriptions that you can read through their analysis from left to right. These, however, emoticons - somehow depicting a human face turned90 degrees - they were certainly not the only ones to appear in our news. There are also other emotes that you don't have to "rotate" - here we are talking about strings of characters that represent emotions and which are inspired by the manga style. An example of such an emote is ^or O.O.

Emoticons: meaning

People who correspond a lot on the Internet on a daily basis and therefore often use emoticons, are rather familiar with the meaning of most of them. It happens, however, that even a grandmother or grandfather, who prefer to communicate using traditional methods, receive an SMS from their grandchildren with an unfamiliar emoticon.

It is for them - and for all other people who are also not thoroughly familiar with graphic representations of emotions - we present below a short cheat sheet explaining what the individual, probably most used, of them mean:

Worth knowing
  • : -)- also in the form :) or:] means smile
  • : - ( means sad
  • : Dmeans happiness, big smile
  • xDmeans amusement, playfulness
  • : Pmeans playful tongue out, banter
  • : O, o.O, O.O means surprise
  • : /means disappointment, disappointment
  • ^^means contentment
  • > .
  • ; ( means cry.

The emoticons that appear in our messages are not only specific smileys. You can meet, for example, the emoticon<3, która ma odwzorowywać serduszko, czy też z jej odwrotnością, czyli

Emoticons: how do they affect the messages we send?

One thing should be said with full force: emoticons are certainly not necessary for interpersonal communication. Some people don't use them at all and the messages they send to other people are fully understood by their recipients.

It is worth noting, however, that if someone already uses emoticons, both the one they use and the way they are used have a bearing on how their messages are perceived by their recipients. We can cite an example here, where the utterance itself may be perceived differently depending on whether there is an emoticon in its content or whether it is missing.

Conversation between two people in a relationship. A difficult topic is discussed, and eventually he asks her, "are you offended?" There may be two different answers - theoretically the same, in practice not necessarily:

  • "No, come on, I'm not, it's ok."
  • "No well,come on, I'm not, it's ok: D ".

The first of the quoted statements may suggest that there is something wrong after all and that she actually has something against him. But then, when an emoticon hits the end of the message, the whole thing becomes "softened" - in the end, the message can be perceived in such a way that there is indeed peace between her and him.

Another example. He constantly goes to concerts with his sister, omits his partner in planning the trips, despite her repeated requests that she be taken into account when creating trip plans. She sees at some point on a social networking site information about the next big upcoming event. So she writes one of the messages to him:

  • "Maybe we'll go to this particular concert together? :))))"
  • "Maybe we'll go to this particular concert together?: P".

The first of the quoted statements seems to have a warm, calm tone thanks to the emoticon. The second one, on the other hand, may already be perceived as a kind of taunt and an allusion - if, while reading such a message, he is in a bad mood, then it usually doesn't take much to an argument.

If two people often communicate with each other via SMS or instant messaging, then by observing each other's emotes, they are able to… infer about their moods. It may seem bizarre, but in practice it is possible. The emotions we feel at the moment affect the emoticons we use. What's more, it even happens that a friend finds out about our bad mood after finding out that we use far less emoticons in messages than usual.

Worth knowing

There is an emoji that symbolizes … menstruation. Is it an exaggeration or a taboo break?

Emoji symbolizing menstruation is the result of a campaign conducted by a group fighting for women's rights PlanInternational UK. The period emoji is a blood drop and is intended to familiarize people with menstruation.

Emoticons and emoji and animoji

Emoticons are and will most likely be present in our messages, but nowadays they are increasingly being replaced by certain other creations to illustrate our emotions. You can mention here, for example, emojis, which are pictograms representing various emotions.

Emoji is now much more than emoticons - among them there are both small pictures of human faces and graphics with animals, plants or food. Thanks to the we alth of emotions, a message can be actually constructed without the use of words - just use the appropriate stringpictures.

There are many emoji, their form differs depending on the type of social media (Facebook, Whatsapp, Snapchat) or the phone of a given person.

Something similar to emojis are animoji. They are also graphics showing human emotions, however, they are created with the use of a camera located in a mobile phone or other device. The animoji corresponding to the facial expressions of the person sending them - when he smiles, the animoji does so as well, and when a grimace appears on the user's face, the camera picks it up and finally produces an animoji. Like emoticons and emoji, animoji are also used to communicate to others - in a rather abbreviated way - our current emotions.

In the photo below an example of an emoji.

About the authorBow. Tomasz NęckiA graduate of medicine at the Medical University of Poznań. An admirer of the Polish sea (most willingly strolling along its shores with headphones in his ears), cats and books. In working with patients, he focuses on always listening to them and spending as much time as they need.

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