Conveying emotion in a digital world: 40 years of :)

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In the digital world of communication without facial expressions and body language, emojis are as important as punctuation. Using them to underscore our tone and emotions now comes naturally to many of us. Particularly after two years of social distancing during the pandemic they have come to seem almost indispensable. But those who first came up with the idea of digital irony might never have envisaged the little icons’ trajectory. It all started on September 19, 40 years ago with emoticons, standard punctuation marks which were grouped together at a US university to represent facial expressi…

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