🙂 turns 25 today.
I think it’s a good time to reflect on the nature of :-), and what it means. More than just a note that the writer of the message is, in fact, assuming a light-hearted attitude, regardless of the actual words that may precede the :-), or perhaps just denoting a smile via digital communication, it is a marker of how our methods of communication change and evolve. Initially, he had to specify to “look at it sideways” so that his readers, unfamiliar with the symbol, would understand what that jumble of punctuation marks meant…..now, it’s totally unnecessary. It’s automatically seen that way, and we have dozens of others to help specify our intended emotions even more. IM programs translate these symbols into animated faces for us, so even the most cryptic of marks can become an instantly-understandable demonstration of human emotion, when our voices and faces cannot be heard or seen. And the amazing thing is he didn’t really intend it to take off, he didn’t market it, sell it, publish it……it just happened.
Just like that.
It also makes me remember the days before widespread email and instant-messaging, before teh internets was in every home, every room….and even when it was it was clunky and pokey, and usually came with the static whine and screech of a 14.4k dial-up modem heralding its slowly-loading arrival. When communication to places far away meant phone and fax. When having a “hard drive” in your PC was a real treat and you felt graphically superior to others because your monitor was Super VGA. Super. Ok, maybe these weren’t all at the same exact time but (some of you) know what I mean…..it’s hard today to imagine living and working without the technology we take for granted every day, sharing our desk space and staring back at us.
And, thanks to :-), giving a smile now and then.
Thanks to Jay Major for originally posting this today.