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MONDAY, JULY 04, 2011
A friend of mine sends me nothing but emoticons on messenger. Every chat we have is just an exchange of these emoticon characters. This may sound annoying or even simpleton. Indeed, it is both.

Here's an example of an exchange:

Maxx: :)
Alamir: hey
Maxx: :D
Alamir: ;)
Maxx: XD
Alamir: :p
Maxx: <3

And that can be an entire conversation right there. It's not interesting, but what it lacks in logos it makes up for in sheer pathos.
Yet, I've found this friend to be the most intriguing after a consistent emoticon exchange. Unlike most old friends who linger online and who I rarely send a message to since I have nothing of importance to say, this friend manages to send a short consistent hello. It's small talk at it's smallest. And although many people on WordArc have admitted to not being a fan of "small talk," I think the smallest of small talks somehow attains a form of perfection. Where regular discussion and debates enjoy becoming more complex and philosophical, small talk should aim to be more emotional and instantaneous.

What's more is that my friend, Maxx, has somehow become the most peaceful and friendliest of friends on my messenger list simply by expressing his emotions over any ideas. This is a realization after only years of consistent emoticons being sent at me. However, this has also somehow added more gravitas and seriousness to when he does speak. Like a child who manages to express his first musings. Or say his first "No." All of a sudden the serenity behind Maxx's messages is over taken by the ugly pondering of a human mind just trying to figure his surroundings out everyone else.



Emoticons do come closer than actual words to that comforting and idea-less silence. Because of course there's something profoundly beautiful about sharing a comfortable, non-awkward silence with someone else, without the pressure of filling every gap in the conversation. It's like Mia Wallace in Pulp Fiction said: you know you've found the right person when you can just shut the fuck up and enjoy the silence together.

I assume you meant to include me when you said that "many people on WordArc have admitted to not being a fan of 'small talk,'", and you're quite right to do so (if you did). Still, I'm in agreement with you (for Mia Wallace's reason).

Also, unlike Alishah, in his article about small-talk versus interesting-talk (titled - which I nevertheless agreed with - there's a similar comfort in small-talk, since it comes close to the meaninglessness of silence.

The real issue, though, is not "boring" versus "interesting" types of talk. It's about the inter-personal relationships that govern both those types of talk. And you're article righty emphasizes that. Actually, so did Alishah's, in a way, since it was about people who know each other well enough to skip the shallow stuff and jump right into the deep.

It's all such a complex constellation, isn't it?: small-talk, silence and emoticons that can be either mundane or comforting, depending on who you're with, and for what reason....well, not too complex, I guess...



Maybe anything more would point to a distancing, a wake-up to how you've both changed & perhaps no longer who you both thought you each were. Its thoughtfulness is an expression of the basics in life we all crave and need with little disappointment.

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