Should Smilies Have Noses: The Great Emoticon DebateS

Recently, the dating website Zoosk conducted a study of 4,000 singles to see which online dating habits were the most conducive to finding yourself your very own sex friend. One of the most peculiar bits of info gleaned from the study, though, is that fact that profiles that used the emoticon ":-)" racked up a 13 percent net increase in replies while the ":)" would send you into a 66 percent decline. Never underestimate the power of a nose.

When presented with this data, though, the majority of the Gizmodo staff (incorrectly) jumped to the defense of the noseless. Our own Eric Limer, being perhaps the most adamant champion of the nasally challenged emoticon, continued to harass me for my beliefs over instant message. Our attempt to work out the complexities of the problem at hand, following in the tradition of Socrates, follows.


Ashley Feinberg: The weird thing is, and I can't put my finger on why, but I think I'd be more likely to respond to a nose, too.

Eric Limer: I would believe that considering the majority of people tend to be dumb and also wrong.

Ashley: There is no *wrong* in online dating, plus it's a symbol of health. When noses are someone's norm, you can assume they grew up in a family free of central facial deformities. Good genes and whatnot.

Eric: No, nosed smileys are for the simple minded who need noses spelled out for them. You should be able to make the connection on your own.

Smileys are not about anatomical correctness.

Ashley: Right and this isn't about anatomical correctness either; it's about how you're conveying yourself as a person.

Eric: And I thnk if there's one place in which the noseless can be lauded as better than the nosed it's here.

Ashley: It's about the sense of the person you get from their typing.

Eric: Ok sure, and a person who's typing in the nose is wasting their time.

Ashley: It's like with someone who regularly says "lol" in earnest. They're the same people who are going noseless.

Eric: Ok, that's not true. Lol is a straight up lie 90% of the time—THAT's the problem with lol.

Ashley: No, because I lie about the degree of my laughter, too. Except instead of lol I go "haha" because I am not an asshole. That's just a symptom of the internet necessitating other ways to get your point across in lieu of body language.

And anyway the nose is something that takes more time. It's more deliberate.

Eric: I will give you that.

Ashley: It's like lol is an afterthought and the filler of a coward, just like :) is.

Eric: But it is also insane. I mean, it would be one thing if it was an extra keystroke, but the nose is UNCAPPED, whereas the colon and parenthesis are decidedly capped. That just makes it too much of an exertion to be worth the bother.

Ashley: I wouldn't call lifting a finger adding a keystroke.

Eric: It is if you aren't coordinated I would know.

Ashley: But thats the other thing—it takes even more time by your logic. So you know they fucking MEANT that smiley.

Eric: But do they? The nose is not what is smiling by your logic.

Ashley: It's the whole face.

Eric: Oh, we should be adding hair?

Ashley: Ugh, now you're just being profane. If I saw someone with hair..

Eric: <:-)

Ashley: They'd seem...

Eric: He is wearing a hat.

Ashley: Ok, first thats a clown.

Eric: He is the most sincere of all.

Ashley: Clowns are not attractive in the non-terminal care unit dating world. Second, hair is too much. It's not even a mildly common thing, whereas :-) is JUST common enough. Hair is what serial killers put on their smiley faces.

Eric: That's a statement of fact, not an argument. That the nose is common, I mean. Not the serial killer part.

Ashley: Ok, I just did a twitter search, and here is the first tweet with a nose I found:

Entirely inoffensive. And now for exhibit B:

Ashley: He didn't even spell good correctly. There's a very specific kind of person that goes with a noseless face, and more often than not it's the kind that makes you die a little bit on the inside.

Eric: I'm just getting a lot of foreign language stuff.

Ashley: Ok, but if it wasn't JUST a smiley, would you prefer ;) or ;-)? Because honestly even though im hyper pro nose, I'd be more put off by a nosed wink I think... I THINK.

Eric: Yeah and honestly, that's a big part of why im anti-nose. Because of the wink.

Ashley: why?

Eric: Because even though I'M ANTI nose. Ithink the :) is the worst example.

Ashley: Eh, pople only use winks ironically or when they're trying to get fucked tbh.

Eric: Whereas ;) and :D are far far better.

Ashley: But no. This is about love. True love on the internet. True Catfish-kind-of-love where even lies about gender and age and morbid obesity can't tear you apart.

Eric: Is it, is it really?

Ashley: This isn't about some Craigslist shit.

Eric: I dont know, something about the efficiency of a noseless smiley speaks to me in a way that abbreviations like an unironic "lol" does not. A nose does not inform an expression (in smilies) the way eyes or the mouth does.

Ashley: It speaks to me in the same way a 13 year old girl lying about her age online would. Because those are the people who use it.

Eric: I use a noseless smiley, Ashley. What are you trying to say about me?

Ashley: That you emoticon in the same way pubescent girls do. That's what I am saying about you.

Eric: People who do (: for smileys should fucking die.

Ashley: Ok yeah, that I'll agree with.


So, friends, what have we concluded? Stay away from the internet and others in general. It's the only way you won't be judged—it's the only way you're safe. <;-D