For many years I’ve used the =) as my “emoticon” (though I hate that term – it’s a smilie, damn it). Before that I generally used :> as a snarky, 14-year-old would to show how unique and cool I was compared to the lamers who always used the standard :-) of the time (~1994).
In recent years I’ve felt like the more universal/generic emoticon, :) is better received. It’s a standard, known dialect. I guess I held out a bit too long, trying to stay different. Thanks a lot, Arby’s.
Same with “Hehe”.. in “the olden bbs days” that was very common, along with <G> (grin). These all predate emojis and other graphical representations of reactions and emotions (and poops). But one time a friend told me that “Hehe” seemed mischievous. I felt like I’d been miscommunicating myself for all these years.
But, like language, I guess emotions depicted by computer/mobile screens will continue to evolve. I’m just proud that I got to be a part of the beginnings of it all. Signing off, The Greybeardener.