The advances of technology are directly impacting the way society is interacting. Cellphones, email and social media have created habits of using abbreviations acceptable. Lol and omg are two very common examples. The newest spin on the abbreviation is using emoticons, which combines emotion and icon together; : ) for a happy face or : ( for a sad face. My guess is the popularity grew because the first cellphones charged per message you sent and were limited to the number of characters you could send. Now text messaging for the most part is unlimited, but emoticons have become more popular than ever!
Check out Rives tells a story of mixed emoticons, this TED Talk tells a whole story based on mixed emoticons. The story appears at the beginning of the talk, and at first glance, looks like complete gibberish. Rives starts to decode the emoticons and a short fairytale is revealed in about 3 minutes.
This talk got me thinking about the future of advertising, marketing and communications. I have to argue that the art of writing will soon be a lost art for majority of the population. Generation Z, born in 2000 and onwards was practically born with a cellphone glued to their ear and a lab top in their pocket. They already talk abbreviated and if their where speech bubbles in real life I’m sure they would consist of emoticons.
As the next class is getting ready to graduate with a BBA in marketing, public relations and communicators, it will be critical to master writing but also adapting the message to various generations. Will we start seeing emoticons in major marketing campaigns? I am surprised advertisers of cellphones aren’t using this approach.
What are you thoughts?