Last night when I was leaving work I noticed a napkin neatly tucked under one of my windshield wipers. Naturally, I was expecting a love note. Instead I got a condescending scribble suggesting I leave the larger parking spaces open for the larger vehicles that use the parking garage. And of course, the sign off was a smiley face. A smiley face. First, you work/live in the city, having an H2 or whatever is ridiculous, keep that “thing” in the burbs; second, you’re still an idiot even if you close your angry notes with smilies. Same goes for winks.
That’s just one example of a jerk trying not to seem like a jerk, hiding beneath the security blanket of an emoticon. I get tons of emails and text that hit the same nerve. Like, ‘you forgot to do that really important thing you said you’d do, please do it now, thanks ; )’ or ‘interesting shirt ; )’. Seriously, back off the punctuation unless you’re brave enough to use it like you mean it.
This way of communicating, via emoticon, is primitive, and that’s a good thing. Don’t complicate things with a bunch of unnecessary innuendo and BS. Embrace the simplicity of symbols-based communication, that’s what’s so great about it. Use a smiley when you’re happy, not when you’re being a wimpy jerk.