Emotion Commotion: Which Emoticon to Chose?

Facebook. FB Emoticons

(for the purposes of this blog I’m going to assume you use it…otherwise you’ve probably already stopped reading)

Whether you love it, hate it, or are ambivalent towards it, it probably takes up at least a little bit of your time and  your energy.

I happen to love it. Sure it has pros and cons but over the years it has kept me in touch with friends and family from all over the world, and that is a true gift.

However, I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with the ‘like’ button – how do you ‘like’ a post that is sad or makes you angry? So, I was delighted when FB introduced a wider rage of emoticons – THESE, I figured, would solve that trickiness. But have they?

With so many choices, it should be easy to click the right one, right? But that doesn’t always seem to be the case. I’ve noticed that some posts create a bit of a conundrum, an ’emotion commotion’, if you will.  Maybe it’s just me, maybe I’m overthinking (wouldn’t be the first time) but in case I’m not alone I thought I’d bring it up.

The posts I’m talking about are the ones that cause me to stop and think about which button to click. This has come up a few times in the last couple of days, most recently when a friend’s mother died.  The post was, of course, incredibly sad but the way she had written it was beautiful and loving.

So, in these circumstances which emoticon fits? The only one we can rule out for certain is the ‘laughing’ one. But let’s look at the others:

  • I might like what she wrote, even if what she wrote was sad.
  • Perhaps I want to send love to her.
  • Maybe I’m surprised at her news.
  • I’m certainly sad for her.
  • And just maybe I’m bubbling up with anger, on her behalf, that she’s lost her mum.

They all fit, one way or another, so there is a decision to be made. How do I convey the right thing, or more importantly, the thing that will bring comfort to my friend?

In the end I chose the ❤️ , partly because the sad face felt too sad, too visceral, but also because I wanted to send her warmth and love. I also followed it up with a comment that said as much.

But these decisions aren’t limited to personal posts. There have been other kinds that have caused me pause as well. The one’s where the shared content makes me feel one way, but the poster’s comment makes me feel another. In those moments, I do stop and think about what I want to communicate.

I realize that on the face of it this might seem like a silly thing to think about, let alone give time and effort to write about. But is it?

In this day in age when SO much of our communication hinges on ‘likes’, quick comments and passing clicks, these things take on far more meaning.  Therefore, perhaps we need to be putting MORE thought, not less, into what we’re ‘saying’.

Food for thought.

 

 

 

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