Death to emoticons!!!

Some people really dig chat rooms… I’ve heard stories that many teenage girls spend every waking hour of
their day giving net-hugs to thier online buddies on AOL. I thought this was intersting, and proceeded to think
as follows: “If people spend that much time in these chat rooms, they must be pretty damned cool! There
must be some seriously amazing shit going on in there!”

                                  And so I went off on a quest. A quest to discover the sublime and indescribably addictive joys of chat rooms!
                                  I too could have become a pathetic slob with no REAL friends, and immerse myself in the all-fulfilling
                                  wonders of cyberspace!! It was decided!!

                                  I went off and downloaded a copy of mIRC, a program that connects you to millions of chat rooms, 99.8% of
                                  which having to do with "Lesbian Incestuous Feces Pictures". I logged on, and connected to one of the few
                                  non-smut channels and prepared to behold the glory of internet friendships.

                                  The conversation proceeded as follows:

                                      KoolKat: Hi!
                                      LuvBug: Hi Kat!
                                      KoolKat: lol!
                                      LuvBug: :)
                                      JamesDean: lol!
                                      KoolKat: {{{{{{{ jamesdean }}}}}}
                                      JamesDean: thx, lol!
                                      LuvBug: rotfl! :)
                                      JamesDean: {{{{ kat }}}}
                                      KoolKat: :-) lol!

                                  At this point, I let out a roaring yawn, and slammed my face into the keyboard. Upon awakening, I massaged
                                  out the keyboard-pattern imprinted on my face, and decided to check out how the jubilant cyber-friendships
                                  were unfolding. Unfortunately, the dazzling intellectual tour-de-force that was going on before my little nap
                                  was no longer as strong; the conversation had become a little less exciting:

                                      KoolKat: lol!
                                      LuvBug: lol!!
                                      JamesDean: lol!
                                      KoolKat: lol!
                                      LuvBug: LOL!!
                                      JamesDean: lol!
                                      KoolKat: lol!
                                      LuvBug: LOL!!
                                      JamesDean: lol!
                                      KoolKat: lol!
                                      LuvBug: LOL!!
                                      JamesDean: lol!
                                      KoolKat: lol!
                                      LuvBug: lol!!
                                      JamesDean: lol!

                                  But, whether exciting or not, I fell to my knees and wept. This was truly touching! They were all Lauging
                                  Out Loud! Why can't we all grow up in "real society" and learn a bit from the openness of the net
                                  community? Why can't we reach a point where we don't need actual FUNNY STUFF to create laughter, but
                                  where the humor spawns from god-fucking-knows-where! In this enlightened society, I imagine conversation
                                  to flow as follows:

                                      Bob: Hi Mary!
                                      Mary: Hi Bob!
                                      [Mary begins lauging and snortling]
                                      [Bob soon follows, and begins rolling on the floor like an epileptic possum]
                                      [Mary stops and hugs Bob]
                                      [Bob grins for the 47th time that day]
                                      [The intense humor of this cases Mary's spastic laughing to resume]
                                      [Bob is inspired by nothing short of divine perception to hug Mary.]
                                      [Mary, always on the lookout for humor, continues to Laugh Out Loud.]
                                      etc, etc, etc....

I gotta boost this thread. (I hate emoticons, too.)

Countdown to The Pit:


Yer pal,

One month, one week, three days, 15 hours, 38 minutes and 12 seconds.
1626 cigarettes not smoked, saving $203.26.
Life saved: 5 days, 15 hours, 30 minutes.

Couldn’t agree with you more, concrete. I tried chatting once. I went to the Internet Cafe, which was lauded as a place for intelligent people to have intelligent conversations. What I discovered, however, is that chat rooms seem to be the refuge for the insipid, inarticulate and socially inept people of our society.

I don’t think emoticons are the issue here;

It looks like the exchange (I can’t bring myself to call it a conversation) would be no less vacuous without them.

On the other hand, this thread title is a great way to kiss up to ChiefScott! :slight_smile:

LOL! :wink:
I just had to do that. Pardon me, whilst I head back to #straightdope now…


That’s kinda what I meant, not that I’m ever wrong, you understand. :slight_smile:

Went to the chat room scene for the same reason.
Seemed like the most frequent post is: “a/s/l?”
ASL? I replied.
A/S/L? They insisted.
American Sign Language? I asked.
“?” They retorted.

It was only after a while that I figured out they wanted to know my Age/Sex/Location.

Told somebody who had sent me a “private message” that I was a 30 yr old male. And “poof”- conversation over. Gladly, I guess.

Seems these things are only for dirty old men wanting to talk to other dirty old men pretending to be 16 yr old girls.

Kinda sad, in a funny kind of way.

When I first went online about 4 years ago I loved the chat rooms. I actually (are you ready for this?) HAD CONVERSATIONS! Conversations that didn’t mention sex! In fact, I’ve met people IRL that I first met in chat rooms.

I stopped using chatrooms for awhile and for kicks decided to start again. I can’t believe how they’ve changed. It WAS like the posters have described. I tried to have conversations but never had any luck. That’s too bad. It can be a great thing.

OK, one more time. For a good time call… I mean head to #straightdope on undernet or visit via Opal’s Java chat at

Have fun!

There are good IRC channels, and there are bad IRC channels.

#straightdope, of course, is a good channel.

There’s another one I visit, but the core group of people has known each other for about four years now and there’s none of this :slight_smile: :slight_smile: HUGS lol stuff.

But sincere emoticons can express a tone of voice that is otherwise completely lost in ASCII text. Let me demonstrate:

Case 1: You fucking asshole.

Case 2: You fucking asshole :slight_smile:

One is an insult; the other is a term of endearment. Or something.