In this article I will present a brief yet concise explanation on the history of smiley face emotions and emoticons and their evolution.
The first ever illustrated/graphical smiley face emotion was designed in 1964 in Worcester, MA by a man named Harvey Ball. He did not simply do this for fun, there was a specific purpose which was for a client who was attempting to ease the transition of two companies following a merger. But that's not the beginning!
The earliest recorded use of characters and symbols to represent emotions was in 1857 when people used Morse code, specifically, the number 73 to represent love and kisses.
Later, in 1881, the American magazine "Puck" began printing character based emotions on a regular basis. The first commonly used smiley emoticon was "-)" which represented "tongue in cheek". Nowadays, tongue in cheek is represented by the character sequence ":-J".
The first instance of the use of smiley face emotions on the internet was in thanks to a gentle man by the name of Scott Falman who implemented the use of the smiley face symbols ":-)" and ":-(" on his message boards to represent one's jokingness or seriousness since many misunderstandings were occurring on the message boards.
Nowadays, smileys and emoticons have become very common in digital communication, and most email providers, forums, and instant messengers support the use of smileys either by automatically converting character sequences into images, or having a menu of smileys present for easy implementation.