W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > January to March 1999

Re: suggestion

From: Charles F. Munat <coder@acnet.net>
Date: Fri, 15 Jan 1999 12:23:46 -0600
Message-ID: <003401be40b4$3293f1c0$291172a7@acnet.net>
To: "Kynn Bartlett" <kynn-hwg@idyllmtn.com>, "Robert C. Neff" <rcn@fenix2.dol-esa.gov>
Cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Kynn wrote:

"ASCII art is inaccessible.  I propose AIR HUG and GREAT BIG
AIR HUG."

I second the motion. But I suggest "A hug from me." Or
"Hugs."

First, why do we need to standardize an expression of
emotion? If it is real, express it in your own words.
Perhaps this is why I'm so appalled by emoticons and
consider them so fake. They are akin to McDonald's
hamburgers or Hallmark cards. Convenient, but of little real
value.

Second, I think the whole emoticon issue brings up questions
about communication in the wired age. We become more an more
isolated in our own feelings, less and less connected to
others on an emotional level. In a way, the emoticon is the
"smiley face" on the flip side of the email rage coin. In
the same manner that we often feel freer to trash others by
email, the emoticon acts as a sort of intimacy cop-out, in
which a symbol is used to distance us from any real
intimacy, from saying what we feel in an honest and open
manner with respect for others.

Personally, I think that those who find emoticons
inaccessible have been spared rather than robbed. I'll take
a real, well thought out dialogue over attempts at pithiness
and emoticons any day. And people can now stop sending me
junk mail full of sappy sayings, "touching" stories, lewd
jokes, and all that other crap I have no time and no use
for. Why do so many people feel the need to pass that stuff
on? I suspect that it comes from a feeling of
disconnectedness which is exacerbated by the superficial
nature of what's being sent. So it becomes a vicious circle,
with more an more crap being exchanged and less and less
real communication. Ugh.

Finally, I lump animated greeting cards in with emoticons
and all that other junk. If you can't spare the time to
write three lines telling me what you really feel, why
bother? Most of the time I discard animated greeting cards
without even bothering to view them. (How accessible are
animated greeting cards? But then I guess you wouldn't send
one to someone who couldn't see it. Should we demand
accessible alternatives for people who want to send on-line
greeting cards but can't use the currently available ones?)

Charles Munat
Puerto Vallarta
Received on Friday, 15 January 1999 13:33:44 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Tuesday, 19 July 2011 18:13:43 GMT