@gregoryng pointed out this article called Five Emotions Invented by the Internet. Before I even clicked the link, I was composing it in my head. Turns out the actual article is way different than the one I wrote in my head in the 0.02 seconds between clicking the link and seeing the article, so thought I’d write my version, too.
The emotion: mild amusement, or sometimes totally fake amusement
This only rarely actually means “laughing out loud.” In fact, if I called everyone a liar who said “LOL” on the internet and wasn’t really laughing out loud… well, I’d call a lot of people liars. From what I can tell, it’s mostly a substitute for body language, which is essential when all your social interactions happen through the filter of a few computer screens. May also be a substitute for typing, “Heh,” repeatedly, since that’s probably the noise you would make in person, more likely. Only, bonus: on the internet, it’s a lot easier to fake a laugh if, for example, you’re trying to get a certain guy/girl to like you by laughing at their stupid jokes.
The emotion: malaise, or sometimes ambivalence, although it takes more energy than “meh” usually connotes to be ambivalent
This is another emotion invented to convey what could easily be expressed in person, but notsomuch on the intertubes. Face-to-face, it’s a shrug, accompanied by a bored facial expression.
3. Hashtag twinkle
The emotion: an undercurrent of humor, doom, sarcasm, or some other tone not readily apparent in the text
It’s like the twinkle in your eye when you say something serious, but you don’t really mean it. On Twitter, that twinkle is a hashtag. “I love the printer at work!” becomes, “I love the printer at work! #stabby,” and thus your Followers know how you really feel.
4. Click the X in the top right corner
Emotion: absence of
At no time in the past have you ever been able to completely shut down the thing that is causing emotion– whether that be the latest gross video your coworkers sent a link to, an IM conversation gone horribly wrong, or an out-of-control inbox. Clicking the X in the top right corner fixes it all. Thanks, internets.
Emotion: like, only in a tangible clicky format
No longer is “like” a squishy, non-descript emotion. Like is an action wherein you click a button and let the whole world know that you approve of something. Easy, succinct, and tangible.