My Facebook Emoticons Journey

When I first began to use Facebook in June 2009, I was very hesitant to use it. I would use it minimally, and barely used chat, since I had approximately 8 friends. I rejected most of the friend invites I received, and let other people friend me instead of going out and friend requesting other people.

However, something changed on Facebook, and I began to look at it differently. What happened was that a friend of mine used an emoticon on Facebook chat, which in all irony was not the generic smiley face, but the shark! I was blown away, and immediately asked how to make the shark, which I learned was “(^^^),” with the “^” signs being the teeth, and the parenthesis being the body. To me, it was the most amazing thing I had ever seen, and I immediately began milking the usage out of the shark. Even today, I still use the shark whenever I use Facebook chat.

After the Shark incident, I began to explore all the other Facebook emoticons, and discovered there to be roughly 26 other emoticons. The wide range of these emoticons was, to me, something that could only be done in the movies. There were the generic emoticons, such as “:)” being a smiley face, “:(“ being a frowning face, “;)” being a winking face, and “:’(“ being a crying sad face. All of these emoticons would appear as a small yellow face with the appropriate expression, and all you need to type is what I typed in the parenthesis in this article. It was very simple to do.

As time moved on, however, I couldn’t help but wonder if there were other emoticons, such as my personal favorite, the shark. After some time experimenting, I discovered there was a series of more complex emoticons instead of just my friendly little yellow buddies. For example, “<3” was a heart, “:|]” was a robot, and “<(“)” was a penguin. It seemed to me that Facebook kept outdoing themselves with the emoticons, even going as for as to make “:42:” appear as a red box with the number 42 inside it. I was impressed, to say the least.

I’d say that, in my near two years on Facebook, I’ve shared my knowledge of emoticons with about 20 different people, and I have had about 30 “emoticon battles,” in which two people demonstrate their knowledge of emoticons by typing in as many emoticons as they can remember, and whoever had the most would win. Of course, my win streak vastly outweighed my losing streak. I cannot imagine a time when I did not include an emoticon in my Facebook chats, whether it was a frowning face, a happy face, a laughing face (:D), a crying face, or the shark.

All I can really say is, if Facebook did not have these fun and friendly emoticons, then I probably would not use Facebook nearly as often.

A list of Facebook emoticons:
🙂 = smiley face
🙁 = frowning face
😉 = winking face
:'( = crying face
😀 = happy-grin face
😛 = tongue face
:v = pacman
😮 = gasping
=3 = curly lips
>:( = grumpy face
>:o = upset face
8) = glasses face
B| = sunglasses face
:/ = unsure face
:* = kissing face
^_^ = kiki face
-_- = squinting face
o.O = confused face
O:) = angel face
3:) = devil face
<3 = heart
:|] = robot
:putnam: = Chris Putnam
(^^^) = shark
<(“) = penguin
:42: = 42