Create Smileys

No more boring smilies: it's time for animated smiley faces!

Animated smiley faces are the next step in expressing yourself online. It's interesting how technology has it's own evolutionary patterns, and it seems that not even the smallest of technological pop culture can escape these patterns.

I am of course referring to the humble smiley face - or perhaps not so humble anymore.

These emoticons have changed quite a bit since they first became popular (which, believe it or not, was in the early days of computers in the 1970s). We've gone from text - the ever popular smiley face expressed with a colon, dash and parenthesis: :-) - to brightly colored cartoon versions of the smiley emoticon in his normal yellow garb. Now we're in the next phase of emoticon evolution as I like to call it - the animated emoticon.

Emoticons are no longer confined to the realm of being just a static image, sitting there and staring back at you. Seems rather lifeless, doesn't it? Well, now with the onset of fully animated smiley faces and emoticons, you'll see some life in your smilies! The smiley faces will actually smile. The laughing faces will actually laugh!

Quite a large number of animated icons now come with an added bonus: sound. Yes, that's right, we've come all the way from a boring, unmoving yellow little smiley face to big, animated, audible emoticons! See what I mean about life? Emoticons are becoming more than just an expression, they're also something of an artform.

Animated emoticons are still relatively new to the instant messenger and email scene, but not surprisingly, they've exploded and there are tons of different themes and types you can easily get for your favorite software. Whether you use AOL instant messenger, MSN's chat software, Yahoo messenger, or even ICQ - you can get plenty of animated emoticons. It's also nice that most packages are cross-compatible, meaning that they will work on any of your instant messenger programs. So you can use the same emoticons on MSN's messenger as you can on Yahoo's messenger. Not only that, but you can use the animated smiley faces in just about any online communication, for example, your emails!

Don't think that just because emoticons are traditionally "smiley faces" that that's all you'll be able to find. There are actually a lot of different kind of animations that consider themselves "emoticons." Animals and cartoon characters from your favorite shows and just about anything else you can think of are available in an animated format to be used as emoticons. Typically, "cute" is the theme (stuffed teddy bears as icons, things like that), but if you look around it's easy enough to just about any theme that would strike your fancy.

So instead of sitting there with your boring old emoticons, go out and get yourself some awesome animated smiley faces!