Smiley Face Emoticons Driving Some People to Binge Drink and Unfriend You
NEW YORK — That winking smiley face icon you add to the end of everything you post on social media is likely not making friends think you are a really, really nice person.
In fact it’s more likely to make some of them think you’re a pompous, goody-goody asshole.
“Pictures of women breast feeding are the only posts that get more complaints than smiley faces,” Facebook’s Priya Patel said today on a social media blog entitled “How to Buy 10,000 Friends With Facebook Advertising.”
“Half of our users just adore them. The other half say they want to punch a wall whenever they get one.”
“Know the risks. Post a smiley face and within minutes we’ll get requests to ban your page.”
With an estimated 200,000 different emoticons available for download, they are second in Facebook usage at a pace of more than 1.5 million postings a day.
“LOL” is by far number one and is posted somewhere in the world nearly 400,000 times per hour with more than 10,000 mostly elderly users thinking it means “Lots of Love” and 8,000 fundamentalists inexplicably thinking it means “Kill That Damned Evil Lucifer Because He’s a Sneaky Son-of-a-Bitch and He’s Everywhere.”
“We’re still unsure why smiley faces make people snap but snap they do,” said Dr. Erin Leary, clinical psychologist at Manhattan’s Get Well Soon mental health facility.
“Emoticons of kittens or puppies make them nuts too.”
The first crude smiley face emoticon was used on a university digital message board in 1982 and consisted of only the typed symbols :-). Reportedly there were more than 100 immediate replies sent back using :-( creating the first negative response to the famous grin.
“I started binge drinking every time I got one of those damn yellow smiley faces,” said Dwayne DeGroot, a 31-year-old L.A. former lawyer and admitted Facebook junkie.
“But they just kept coming, and coming, and coming.”
“Staring at me. Winking at me. Sometimes frowning or sticking out their little pink tongues.”
“What kind of people post smiley faces?”
“Stop it. Just stop it.”
Reportering for The Lapine