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South Koreans use emoji to express playful sentiments they wouldn’t utter aloud (1843magazine.com)
66 points by r0n0j0y 262 days ago | hide | past | web | 25 comments | favorite



For a while, I thought it was strange how native Koreans would use extraneous ~,^^, ㅋ, and emojis in messengers.

Having lived here for over a year now, I see myself using those once-foreign symbols as part of my messaging jargon.

I feel it softens communication with the other person. The effect is similar to that of a smile; you can say anything while smiling and it won't look so aggressive.

If you message without healthy utilization of these symbols, the negative effect is similar to that of ending texts with period marks. No matter the content, the tone will seem aggressive.


Aw, come on, mentioning Kakao Friends without Apeach? :) https://scontent.cdninstagram.com/hphotos-xaf1/t51.2885-15/e...

My last trip to Seoul I even picked up an Apeach pillow and set of peach-butt coasters from the Kakao store. Love that dude.

These are stickers for sure. My Asian friends and family use them all the time, including as replies on their own. Even my parents and 70-80+ year old relatives do this with regularity. The extra context that these stickers add are very useful and I wish they were more popular among my non-Asian friends. Somehow little rows of emoji and Slack reactions are just not quite the same.


> Aw, come on, mentioning Kakao Friends without Apeach?

What about MSN Messenger Winks? They seem like a clear precursor to these Stickers and probably predate them by 5 years at least.


i hope stickers catch on here in america and dont just stay an east asian thing. i think they're a better form of expressing emotion than emoji. the "nice" thing about emojis is that they're standardized, but i don't think anyone realized how hackneyed and played out emojis would get. when i see tears-laughing-emoji these days, i roll my eyes, because i think of dumb instagram memes. in general, they're tiny icons that are kind of lacking in expressiveness to begin with. i've gotten really tired of them, and so have a lot of other people. you start to think they're dumb. stickers don't do that because they convey more complex emotional information.

i find with emojis that i always want new and more specific ones, and stickers cater to that perfectly. emojis are this wan, broad "happy" or "sad" emotional marker, which doesn't really convey all that much, while, as discussed in the article, stickers can convey really complex and pithy feelings related to the cultural environment people are living in. this makes them feel like a more honest and human method of communication through emotional pictograph, or whatever.


The one "standardized" one that always messes up my communication is ":-P". To me, in ASCII, that's not a playful, smiling, stick out your tongue at your friend sort of thing, but rather an exasperated "Just found out I had to refile all my TPS reports. :-P".

While the only places I tend to have ascii->emoticon functionality is Skype and Slack, the auto-replacement for that usage never fits the mood, and I never seem to find a good representation of how I interpret ":-P".

But more to the point, I think that these stickers have already caught on as what we would call meme images, especially on image boards. They're just not well integrated elsewhere.


> To me, in ASCII, that's not a playful, smiling, stick out your tongue at your friend sort of thing, but rather an exasperated "Just found out I had to refile all my TPS reports. :-P".

I'd wager you're in a pretty small minority there. In fact, I'm struggling to think of a way in which :-P would not be seen as playful.

Do you have an example of the kind of facial expression you see in that particular sequence of characters?


I have the exact same problem as the grandparent. :P

For me it's something like a more muted version of this expression: http://www.nontoxicpestcontrol.com/uploads/2012/06/Poison-He...

Which is a caricature, because this is more of a platonic-ideal expression than one humans actually do.

It generally replaces an expression like "Heh." or "Ew." or "Bleh." or general irony. It's rarely playful in the 'child sticking their tongue out' sense.

Corpus taken from IRC of me using it:

13:58 <REDACTED> Bringing me up half a standard deviation would take me into loony land. :P

16:03 <REDACTED> What? :P

00:58 <REDACTED> You always cave at the last moment. :P

23:05 <REDACTED> Sometimes I lose faith in my potential. :P

05:55 <REDACTED> You know, normally telling somebody "Oh hey I just had a nightmare about you." would deeply offend them, but I get the impression that is totally within-aesthetic for you. :P


I feel the same way as GP, I may have gotten it from early forum emoticon sets where it renders with a variation on this: http://i.imgur.com/Clpg5V4.png


I think the real emotive difference is the tongue coming out of the side of the mouth. That's either somebody deep in thought, or wincing aghast at something they have to do.

Tongue out the middle of the mouth is the more playful version, directing the tongue at somebody.


The roll-eye emoticon is worse.

http://imgur.com/a/wxFNG


Re: stickers

In Europe WhatsApp is a lot more popular than Messenger, and so people use emojis a lot, instead of stickers. Anecdotally I believe the amount of emojis in a conversation in Europe is many times the amount of sticker use in a conversation in North America.


Don't everybody do that with stickers?


Kakao has some of the best stickers.

The best part is, most are animated. And really well.

You can see some of them here.. about a minute into the video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVpM8lUlMH4

There are constantly new sets coming out, and they are very cheap too. Most of them $2.


Line has cool stickers too, though I'm not sure if it has animated ones.


Yes, it has animated stickers, as well as ones with sound.


It reminds me of Facebook stickers. I get those a lot from Asian friends.


Perhaps because Line stickers are the archetype for Facebook stickers, which Facebook introduced to attract Asian users already used to sharing them on Line and Kakao.


Yeah, I must be getting old...


The funny part is all the near future SciFi with kanji characters needs to have them replaced in a special edition with emojis.


Along with the rest of Southeast Asia...


"Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website."

then ctrl-W it is, please learn to render plaintext


It's readable if you disable CSS (in Firefox: View, Page Style, No Style).


curl is your friend


<sarcasm>can't see how <i>that</i> would be illegible</sarcasm>


Darn, if only there was some program that could render HTML files.




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