Facebook gives users a plethora of emoticons, with everything from the basic smiley to Chuck Norris in play. But Facebook Content Strategist Amy Thibodeau warns that, just like with most good things, moderation is key when it comes to emoji.
Although it may seem fine to soften the blow of a serious message, overuse of the emoticon can get out of hand quickly. Thibodeau says users should read messages out loud if they’re concerned about conveying the proper tone. This is a general grammar lesson, as not every message necessitates an exclamation mark.
Users should also make sure the tone of a message is audience-appropriate. Its fine to let a LOL or Not Bad Obama emoticon slip in if you’re messaging a friend; not so much if it’s a work-related message. It’s important to be clear and concise, Thibodeau says:
The quiet parts in your writing are the canvas for the joyous, bright moments. Even without smiley faces and exclamations in every sentence, people will still think you’re OK.
Expressive and effective language is possible, even when there’s a network of invisible wires and servers between you and your reader.
Readers: How often do you use emoticons?
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