Sunday, 22 July 2012

Crossing the Emoticon

Yesterday, elder daughter posted a Facebook status regarding a week that has been rife with shootings, especially the mass ones at a block party in Toronto and a Batman premiere in Colorado:

"I wish all the guns would disappear."

Words seemed insufficient, so I posted an emoticon hug under her status. I checked it first and this is the one I chose:

({ })

According to several sites including, this is a variation of the common {} emoticon that represents a big hug; also the standard way to represent a hug on BlackBerry devices.

Early this morning, I found a text message waiting from elder daughter. It was gently put, although I could hear her eyes rolling from three times zones away: Hey Mum... Not sure what your comment on my recent status meant, but it's widely regarded as a vagina emoticon.

'Scuse me. A vagina emoticon??? Since when is a vagina an emotion? I did a quick check, feeling rather hesitant to type "vagina emoticon" into a search engine (though it might make a rather arresting name for an emo band...) and up came this, another one of those patronizing sites which suggests that anyone who has parented teenagers is, by definition, too stupid to use social media, or even computers, period.

It appears I'm not the first to make this gaffe. If you type the emoticon I posted at my elder daughter's Facebook wall into a Blackberry device, you will get something like this:

Shall we presume that someone at Blackberry has a sick sense of humour?

I went to my daughter's page at Facebook, deleted my comment (which I'm sure she had already hidden from her friends) and sent explanations by email and text.

Haha Love you, came the immediate reply.

I'll follow her example and just spell things out, shall I?


SOL's view said...

I'm sorry. I did laugh. I'm always terrified I will do something like that so I just type. Big gutless me. :D

Persephone said...

Just tryin' to provide a public service, here....

Lisa Rullsenberg said...

Public Service Announcements like this ALWAYS appreciated. Am sure I too have made similar faux-pas...

Rob said...

Thank you. Glad to say I've never used that one: a hug by text just isn't the same. (Of course, neither is a vagina by text....)