I had a co-worker that was training me once. When she would answer IMs from other people within the company she would roll her eyes, have a snarky remark, and respond with a ‘:)’ at the end of her answer. So then every time after that when she would respond to me with a smiley face, I just pictured her gritting her teeth behind her keyboard while typing.
I know it can be hard to get the tone right when people aren’t talking face to face, especially if there’s limited space available. I recently gave a compliment to someone in my Words with Friends chat after they had a high scoring move. They asked if I was being sarcastic.
I have noticed that smiley face on social media threads and blog comments, sometimes mine and sometimes someone else’s, creeping up after someone obviously wrote something condensing or dickish. I try not to write anything that I wouldn’t actually say to someone’s face. In real life and otherwise I am okay with thoughtful conversations and differing opinions and standing up for myself. I always try to be respectful though.
I wonder if people who use the smiley face passive aggressively are the same people in real life that say what they mean, and it is actually mean. Then follow up with an ‘I’m kidding.’ Or I wonder why they don’t just own what they type and leave the smiley face off.
What do you think?