The negative side of emoticons
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the negative side of emoticons

Emoticon etiquette: Knowing where not to use them

Saturday, 9 Aug. '083 comments3.83

A recent article on the Wall Street Journal explores the effects of using emoticons, text messaging shorthands and symbols in the professional and business world.

Using texting shorthand language, smiley face emoticons and decorative symbols is quite common among young people these days. Placing acronyms such as "r" for "are", "u" for "you", "c" for "see" and etc. makes typing easier and faster and the use of emoticons and decorative symbols make it more fun.

This casual way of communicating is natural to today's generation Y, and today most people in their 20's and younger are accustomed to this trend which has been brought about by new technology. However, you have to understand that this trend is perceived as disrespectful to the older generation and it clearly reflects on the cultural divide between the two age groups.

So here is a friendly Warning: If you applying for a job vacancy, make sure you don't use your casual online and cell phone texting lingo. This is considered to be unprofessional and immature and may very well ruin all your chances of landing your dream job. In other words, stay clear from your text-lingo habits while communicating by email or letter with your prospective boss and future employer; it might be an instant candidacy killer. We also strongly advise against using a graphical smiley or multiple exclamation marks!!!

According to Blane Ruschak, national director of university relations and recruiting at KPMG LLP, 1 out of 10 emails sent to their hiring managers contain emoticons, heart symbols, abbreviated text and other icons. We don't feel emoticons have a place in any formal communications, explains Mr. Ruschak. It's not professional..

And if you do land the job, you will still need to resist the temptation of adding an emoticon to communications in the workplace. You can also read the original WSJ article for a more detailed look at the issues discussed here.


User comments

Wannabe Grammar Natz said:24 Apr '13

I agree with the author's sentiments regarding emoticon etiquette. As stated, the appropriate use of emoticons depends entirely on context. However, anyone who wishes to improve their communication skills should remember that the purpose of language is to communicate - to convey an idea or thought to someone else - and if "graphical smilies" help to achieve this goal, a goal that would otherwise be impossible to reach through the combination of Latin letters themselves, then it is entirely acceptable to use emoticons, even for professional purposes (in rare circumstances of course).

This is the same concept as using vulgarity in your speech and refraining to do so, especially when it comes to situations ranging from humour to professional communications.

Rob said:25 Apr '12

Leonie's use of the English language - sorry, American language - in her comment is proof enough of this sad decline in standards. Is it now always necessary to write in the same manner as we speak?

leonie said:10 Feb '09

do you have to be at least 13 for this site?

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Tags: Emoticons, Symbols, Etiquette, Professional

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