Emoticons (emojis), a subset of the UNICODE logographic script, are actually cognitive restraints on the interpretation space (hermeneutical space) during the visual parsing of a given sentence. Our affinity for having the emotions of others readily available for consultation is just a manifestation of cognitive easing – we avoid the anxiety induced by uncertainty of such others’ emotions.
Under the guise of augmenting one’s semantic experience of what is being read, emoticons are actually just preset imperations on how the reader should feel before such reader has a chance to scan and choose from their own collection of emotions. As such, emoticons comes pre-instant straitjacket for the body of one’s thoughts, even before such thoughts emerge.
Emoticons are, in fact, the generalization of _canned laughter_ :a subtle contract between the writer, who has to expend less resource of the in-depth verification of the message against many a connotational space, and the reader, who has to expend less time scouting, assembling of defining their own emotions, as they come pre-fabricated, pre-packaged.
In a way, emoticons are like traffic-lights for one’s thoughts: on the one hand they direct traffic more efficiently; on the other hand, they consolidate the road-map as-is and they reduce the chance of variation (“straying”) from the path beaten by the steps of the previous others.