There's a trope in technology writing that is equally irritating in either direction that it moves. Either technology is driving people farther apart, or making us more connected than ever. You've seen plenty of words about this before, here's an idea that splits the difference.
Emoticon turned 30 last week and love 'em or hate 'em, a well-meaning friend probably sends you a :-) or a :-( from time to time. Last week, an expert explained some of the more challenging faces, but what about all of those strange one-offs that stray far from the typical smiley/frowny faces we all know?
Most of us are pretty familiar with common everyday emoticons like :) or >:[, but what about when they get really fancy with things like （￣□￣；） and (^_^;)?
If you've been waiting for emoticons to fall out of favor and be dismissed as a fad, it's time for a reality check. They've become a permanent fixture of online communication, so you may as well surrender and embrace...