Thursday, July 3, 2014

Brilliant Korea: Emoticons

While regular text messages are pretty much the standard in America, just about everyone who lives in Korea uses a program called Kakao Talk instead of standard text messaging.  Kakao is an app that allows you to text/call others for free.  I've come to love Kakao for many reasons, especially since it allows me to text friends and family back home for no cost whatsoever.

However, I think besides the easy and free communication, the other reason I absolutely love Kakao is because of the plentiful EMOTICONS!

Yeah, iPhones have emojis, but emojis have NOTHING on Kakao's emoticons.  

Seriously, there are emoticons for any emotion you want to express.  Plus, companies often make emoticons that can be downloaded for short amounts of time (usually 45 days).  Of course, you can buy emoticons too, but it's totally not necessary because there are always tons you can get for free.

I have to admit, I didn't use emoticons at all for probably my first five months in Korea. However, my friend Jen basically started demanding that I download them, and now I'm so used to them that when I write something I automatically think of the perfect emoticon I can use to send along with my message.  Not to mention, when I use other messaging systems like facebook chat, I now often feel like I'm missing the Kakao emoticons (ok, maybe the whole emoticon obsession is becoming a bit unhealthy?) Needless to say, when I'm talking to the right people, sometimes conversations on Kakao can go a little something like this:


All in all, Kakao is absolutely my lifeline to my friends here in Korea. I don't even want to say how many texts I spend during the course of one day (I think this is just what happens when you can't communicate with your co-workers and you have a ton of time to just sit around at your desk). However, it's the little things that keep life interesting, and the little extra entertainment of new emoticons always helps break up the monotony of a day.  I can't help but wonder: how will I ever go back to boring imessaging?

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