This is the era of the smiley icon, or the emoticon. It has become as important as the punctuation mark. In fact these days, you can do away with the punctuation, but not without a smiley icon – that is, if you don’t want to be misunderstood. If you’re making a joke, you just have to end it with a smiley. The “he-he”s and the “ha-ha”s don’t seem to cut it anymore. It seems to me that you can’t get the benefit of the doubt without decorating your sentences with at least one emoticon.
I was a victim of miscommunication because I didn’t use a smile, a wink, a grin, a LOL, or a ROTFL. I said something tongue-in-cheek, thinking that person would get it. Apparently, I over-estimated that person’s intelligence.
I skip the smileys and still feel confident that I won’t be misunderstood only when I send messages to my closest friends. Don’t get me wrong. I love smileys. I still use them with my closest friends, but only for emphasis – like an exclamation point.
During yesterday’s homily, my mind got trapped between the time of the Resurrection and the age of the smiley icon. I wondered: would Thomas the Apostle not have doubted the good news that Jesus was resurrected if he had something like an emoticon to make him believe? Then I realized that he did – he did believe after seeing and touching Jesus’ scars. Jesus’ scars were Thomas’ smiley icons. Mind you, he didn’t believe it at once upon seeing the resurrected Jesus himself – the sentence in this case – until the whole scene was punctuated by his demand to see and touch the healed wounds.
Whatever happened to faith? When did we stop believing each other? Why do we choose to chat, text, tweet, exchange PMs or DMs, over face-to-face conversations? Since when did the emoticon take over our true emotions? Come on, guys, let’s take a moment to really know each other more and talk. You’ll be surprised how much we can learn from each other.