Ladies and gents, meet Virginia Alber-Glanstaetten, group director of planning at Huge who picks up the baton from Josh Seifert on monthly writing duties. In her debut column on this here site, Alber-Glanstaetten, who’s also worked on the strategy side at Organic and Razorfish during her career, shares her thoughts on Facebook’s new emoticons feature.
I’ve never been a fan of the emoticon. Perhaps it’s generational – or my own form of language snobbery and elitism – but whenever I see grownups using smiley faces in a sentence I just want to issue the common parental command “use your words.” So you can imagine my feelings about the news that Facebook has added emoticons to its arsenal of self-expression.
Not only does it add to the injustices inflicted upon the English language of late, but I believe it actually pushes Facebook further away from its stated intent of connecting people. Over the last few years, Facebook has succeeded in commoditizing our relationships with each other – remember when you used to visit your friends after they had kids rather than leaving it at a Like and a comment on their photo album?