Use the Smileys

Internet forums are notorious for indecent language, acronyms that you don't wanna know, and virulent trolling. They are the epitome of perfectly engineered breeding grounds for hate.

A large part of this hate is purposefully directed: a combination of anonymity, pseudonimity, a 'CBF phrasing things well' attitude, and a 'because I can, and it's going to happen anyway' assumption to internet hate.

However, sometimes hate isn't intentional. :neutral: It's due to a misinterpreted sign of a single message :mad:, that spirals into a heated exchange:evil:, which often ends with a multitude of troll faces and lolcats. :evil: :cry: :lol: :twisted: :roll:

In other words: words can be read many different ways, forums make it easy to read them as hate.:twisted:

Of course, the converse applies, that it's possible to read things as excessively favourable. Hence we find that the confirmation bias rears it's ugly head all too often.

Unfortunately, there is no way that text can mimic fully the complex exchange in face-to-face conversation. There's just too much going on to capture in text. :???:

On way to get closer to clarity in intent is to make text richer; using the smileys. They're the closest thing that we have to be able to display intent. I think we should use them more often.

Hence, as an experiement, I'm going to try to put more smileys (and arrows :arrow:, and highligths :idea:, etc) into my writing, both formal and informal. My professors better watch out. :mrgreen:


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