😉 Winking face
Next to the basic smiling face, winking face is the most used of all the emojis. Even back to the days before these little faces become illustrated, the koi combination of semi-colon and closed bracket has been sending mixed messages. Here are two perspectives on how to interpret this all time classic and whether you should use it at all.
“When thinking of winking, just say no”
The winky-face emoji, like nuclear brinkmanship, is more trouble than it’s worth. In the same way the pissing contest of nuclear brinkmanship results in either minor geopolitical gain or total annihilation, the use of the winky-face results in either minor amusement or obscene sexual ambiguity.
A winky-face, like a horoscope, is a blank canvas onto which the recipient can paint their most desperate and optimistic impression. The winky-face creates a vacuum to be filled by the lonely soul. It sings the song of the siren.
There is something so inherently propositional about the winky-face that it makes even the most platonic friend wonder just a little bit. Everything becomes an obscene innuendo: “wanna come help my mom change her dentures ;)?” “Trigonometry can be fun ;)”
Winks are appalling enough in real life; over text, they open the gates of a bizarre Freudian hell. Abstain from the winky-face.
– Liam O’Keefe
“Wink away! It’s light-hearted, not lewd”
The controversy of the winky-face is a matter of great social import, as we students consider the potential risk/reward of deploying this hyper-sexualized texting icon. The winky-face myth of lewd connotations should not stop us from using this most light-hearted of emojis.
Someone who sees the winky-face as a universal form of sexual flirtation, regardless of context, (usually a guy, but hey, not pointing fingers here) has some serious narcissism issues. A simple winky-face can add a playful “just kidding” vibe to any joke at risk of being taken too seriously, which actually helps dispel any sexual innuendo, not fuel it. A well placed winky-face can actually dispel hopeful illusions.
Certainly, the winky-face can be used for flirting or sexual innuendo, but that’s not its only use. It is a double-edged sword. Free the winky-face!
– Kelsey Fortier