Tuesday, February 26, 2008


A few years back, I read an article that looked at the traits of middle managers. This article found that the use of emoticons by middle managers and, to a lesser extent, senior managers was nearly non existent. :( (How could I resist that?) They argued that the use of emoticons implied a lack of professionalism that was required to make key business decisions.

Overall, I disagree with this assumption. I think that the numbers have been a bit glossed over and we may have another case of coming to the wrong conclusion. What I wonder is what was the age of the middle managers that they studied? One would assume that they were older than say… 30. Since, most middle managers generally need 5-10 years of experience prior to being elevated to such a position, they would have likely not experienced IM while also in High School. So, is the cause of no emoticons the middle manager’s status? Or, is it their age?

Don’t get me wrong, I do think that emoticons should not be sent to clients (with few exceptions) and should certainly not be in reports. However, when actually IMing, how will you realize that a person is kidding or when they think something is really funny? :-D