How often should you use emoticons in emails and tweets?

A smiley is often warranted, but don’t let it become a crutch, according to the author.

I dropped the class.

However, annoyingly, his words creep back every time I want to employ a smiley face in an email or social media update to better convey my meaning. I regularly make resolutions to eliminate emoticons and extraneous exclamation marks from my communications, yet find myself reaching for them nonetheless.

What should we do?

As in most things, I think a careful balance is in order. Yes, emoticons can become a crutch, but only if we let them. A smiley face is often warranted in an age of rampant sarcasm that isn’t clear in written communications. But maybe we just need to try harder.

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