Modern technology does not fail to provide a decent means of communication. It includes various ways and platforms for us to communicate all around the globe with the help of the internet. One of the most basic forms of high-tech communication is through SMS and chat. When you are chatting with a friend, family member, or any random person,you have a limited way to talk to them, unlike when talking with them in person. One reason for it is because chat messages usually only come with letters and numbers to compose sentences.Unlike the usual way of talking in person, as well as traditional phone calls, the person does not have any means of expressing their emotions through chat or SMS messages.This disadvantage could sometimes lead to confusion and misunderstanding between two persons in a chatbox since some phrases may have different meanings to the other person when not used correctly or without conveying any emotions.
One way to solve this confusion is with the help of smiling faces or commonly known as ‘smileys.’ Smiley is a part of a group of facial expressions called emoticons or emoji, which includes other faces than smiling.The smiley face may seem a bit typical for people who usually use their computers or phones for chatting and text messaging – especially for youngsters who grew up during the development of the computer era. However, as simple as it seems, smileys are a very interesting part of our modern society. If we trace back its history, it conveys a much deeper meaning and not just any plain font in a chat message.
With this said, let us look in this article – who is the inventor of the smiley face? What is the story behind its creation?
History of Smiley
We can trace back the earliest use of the smiley from ancient Egypt, Sumerian, and Chinese civilizations. They used this symbol for thousands of years on ideograms and pictograms, which is a form of written communication to represent ideas. Ancient people consider this writing method as a form of art, which help them convey a more detailed message.
Fast forward to the 20th century when an advertising professional named Harvey Ball created the symbol of smiley in 1963, which became a world language today. Ball is an American commercial artist and graphic designer who came up with the idea of the smiley face in the 1900s. However, the exact purpose of Ball’s creation of the smiley is unknown, but during that time, they used it to raise the morale of the employees – in the company where Ball worked as a freelance artist. During its creation, the smiley became an international icon. His first version of the smiley face includes one eye bigger than the other. This initial design of the smiley evolved to a more recognizable appearance, which has its eyes in equal size, along with a wide smile, and a bright yellow background inside a perfect circle. This version of the smiley became known in our popular culture around the world, which we often see today.
Moreover, the creation of the smiley face did not instantly bring itself into the internet. We can attribute its online existence to the American computer scientist named Scott Fahlman.On September 19, 1982, the first recorded use of the smiley on the internet was made by Fahlman. Although it is not clear whether other people used the smiley on the internet even before Fahlman, it is clear that he is one of the first persons to use it online.
During the late 90s, the use of smileys and other emojis became widespread, along with the rise of the World Wide Web. During that time, smileys are not only present in a chat message, but as well as in video games. One notable use of the smiley is during the boom of Yahoo! Messenger. Yahoo! Messenger, started in 1998, and from there, people became fond of using smileys in chat conversations to convey their messages, along with other emojis. Furthermore, the smiley is the logo of the application, which made it recognized worldwide.
In our modern world, it is evident that smileys are a big part of our popular culture, and theuse of smiley became broader through the advancement of technology.