I remember several years ago I wrote an article about the LOL On Twitter. Back then, LOLs were rampant in social media, and I always wondered if they were genuine or bogus. I mean, everyone couldn’t be sitting at their desks laughing out loud all the time (although I do it a lot). These days, the LOL isn’t as popular as it used to be, but the smiley face emoticon is still going strong. What about that one? Is it genuine? Are we all that happy?
Every time I get going on a topic like this, I roll my eyes because I obviously have too much time on my hands to even wonder about such things – but still, are you smiling each time you type a smiley face emoticon?
Social media is my happy place, so I can say that 95% of the time, I’m really smiling when I type one of those. I’m a big fan of the smiley face emoticon, and I use it in most of my tweets. However, I often read reports about how social media addicts are not very happy people in general. It makes me sad to think that some people are lonely and not happy when they type happy emoticons.
According to this infographic called The Meaning Of Internet Things (by Addvocate), people are definitely not always happy when they type that smiley we are all familiar with. They created this infographic to be a humorous PSA, but when you start thinking about it, it’s not funny. According to research done at the Georgia Institute of Technology and reported about here on New Scientist earlier this year, people who type happy, snappy tweets gain the most Twitter followers.
When did pretending to be happy become a social media strategy? I want to encourage you to type your smiley face emoticons with purpose. Smile when you send those tweets. Ignore all the smiley-haters. Life is too short to tweet any other way…
A Closer Look At The Smiley Face Emoticon
(Click Infographic To Slightly Enlarge)