When interacting with your friends, on the global platform phenomena known as Facebook, it is oftentimes important to convey much deeper emotional meaning beyond just simple words and text. Whether you are leaving a comment on a friend or acquaintance's Facebook wall, or on a Facebook group or page of a brand/company/band/product you adore, this deeper emotional meaning can be effectively conveyed through the use of emoticons. While some Facebook users may only be familiar with a select one or two emoticons that they use relentlessly with ease, expanding your emoticon usage and familiarity can help you to take your Facebook usage to another level: one that can inject an even greater level of conveyed mood and personality into your thoughts and ideas. Afterall, it is very simple to do.

While emoticon creation with text keyboard characters, on Facebook, won't result in small corresponding images (like on AOL instant messenger, or Facebook's integrated instant messenger at the bottom right hand corner of Facebook), the characters posted can be very revealing in themselves of your current emotional state. In order to avoid the incessant posting of emoticons, outside of select characters like "hearts", this functionality is actually disabled when it comes to posting on a wall or news feed. While some would advocate for this ability, general outcry would surely be had if news feeds and walls were inundated with these 'smiley face' emoticons.

Things You Will Need

a Computer
a Keyboard

Step 1

Wherever you ultimately decide to post on Facebook, you cannot do so without actually having a Facebook account. While logging in to Facebook may be the obvious, commonsensical, first step to making emoticons, it bears enough weight to mention. Even with over 500,000,000 registered users worldwide, or akin to the total population of some small world countries, Facebook's userbase has yet to exceed the billions of people in the world. Whether your mother, father, or grandparents, there are clearly people in this world who have yet to sign up for Facebook and who may not understand it to the extent that you do.

Visit the Facebook homepage, and an account can be made fairly simply. When setting up a Facebook account, be sure that you check your email shortly after registering because a membership confirmation email with be sent to you. In order to ensure that someone (other than you) isn't attempting to create an account with your identity, this process is absolutely important and has been proven to be effective time and time again.

Step 2

Once you have registered for Facebook, you should now be able to login with ease. Be sure that you remember your password by placing it in a safe and secure place.

Step 3

As a Facebook user, you can now begin to explore the frontier found under your user account and profile. You will find that Facebook is a relatively simple platform to navigate. In this step, you will want to determine where to actually contribute your thoughts and comments. As mentioned earlier, you can contribute posts to so many different areas on Facebook. Among the many places that you can comment or leave messages on are: Facebook's internal messaging system, Facebook's instant messaging system, Groups, Pages, and, of course, your friends' Facebook wall and your own Facebook news' feed.

Step 4

Knowing the limitations of emoticons, as they relate to different Facebook functionality, is absolutely important. When you construct keyboard characters, in hopes to make a particular emoticon, a small graphical picture translated (from the character emoticon) will not be shown if you are posting a status update on your own news feed or you are commenting on the status updates/wall of your friends. Emoticons will also not display, as tiny corresponding facial graphics, if you post a comment to a Facebook fan page or group. The only place, on Facebook, where your keyboard text character generated emoticons will display as small graphical pictures, will be on Facebook's internal messaging platform.

Step 5

Emoticons are typically placed at the beginning, or more commonly, at the end of a sentence. In some cases, when a simple emotion is needed to express such feelings as excitement, anger, joy, or frustration, it may only be necessary to respond to a friend or family member's comment with an emoticon in itself. When using Facebook's internal messaging system, as mentioned earlier, your typed text characters will automatically turn into emoticons. Unfortunately, if a friend or family member of yours is a new Facebook user, you may want to proceed with caution when using emoticons as part of your news feed status updates, friend wall posts, or Facebook group or page comments. It is these particular emoticons that will not display as graphical corresponding images. If they do not know what ":)" means, any emoticon hopeful that you may leave may simply confuse them and portray an empty meaning to those the digital facial gesture was directed towards.

Step 6

If not used in isolation in order to express a mood, facial expression, and/or emotion, you can place your emoticon as near (or as far) away from the end of your sentence as you choose. Few rules govern the use of internet Web 2.0 functionality, and no grammar or spelling police will be on the lookout to see if you violate any grade school rules. Out of convenience, it may be common to forget or simply intentionally exclude periods (to end sentences) to any other kinds of punctuation. Whether you have a period or not, you emoticon can be anywhere immediately before, or after, a sentence or comment.

Step 7

Knowing that certain elements of Facebook's functionality won't afford the graphical representative image display of an emoticon, you may have to just utilize the text character version of the emoticon. You can do so by picking from this list of commonly accepted emoticons:

Happy :) - Colon followed by a parentheses
Very happy =) - Equals sign followed by a parentheses
Grinning :D - Colon followed by an uppercase d
Cat smiling ^_^ - Shift and press six, underscore, shift and press six
Wink smile ;) - Semicolon followed by a parentheses
Goofy smile 8) - Eight followed by a parentheses
Tongue sticking out :p - Colon followed by a lowercase "p"
Smiling devil 3:) - Three followed by a colon and parentheses
Smiling angel 0:) - Zero followed by a colon and parentheses
Angry >:( - Hold shift and press period, followed by a colon and parentheses
Pouting X( - Uppercase "X " followed by parentheses
Shocked =0 - Equals sign followed by a zero
Skeptical =/ - Equals sign followed by a forward slash
Embarrassed =X - Equals sign followed by an uppercase "X"
Devious smile >:) - Hold shift and press period, followed by a colon and parentheses
Tear :'( - Colon, followed by apostrophe, followed by parentheses
Frustrated X( - Uppercase "X" followed by a parentheses
Love <3 - Hold shift and press the comma button, followed by a "3"

The use of emoticons, on Facebook, can single handedly propel your comments and writing to a level that adequately reflects your current feelings and emotions. When the use of simple text characters may seem really quite limiting, give emoticons a shot. If you attempt to make an emoticon, while posting on a friend's wall or your own news feed, your emoticon will not be displayed as a small graphical icon.

Tips & Warnings

There can always be an inherent temptation to overuse emoticons. Above and beyond the overuse of emoticons, some Facebook users may also you the same one or two emoticons over and over again. When you have free time, be sure to expand your emoticon understanding by testing out a few of the emoticons.