Aargh! Sorry, had to.
Anyway, today is the birthday of the emoticon. For some reason, it seems to be a controversial subject.
There's of course the debates on which emoticons are acceptable. That's a pointless argument, since all of our chat programs replace them with graphics anyway.
There's even quite a few arguments against emoticons, too many to list here, so give it a quick search. The gist of it is that we should be able to express ourselves without them, especially if you consider yourself a writer of any kind.
Well, I may not be a professional writer, but I've done my share, and I think emoticons are one of the greatest ideas to reach the internet (aside from Talk Like A Pirate Day, of course). See, here's the problem. Sarcasm just doesn't come across in text. A lot of emotions don't, actually. Sure, I understand that some people over use it, but it actually is quite necessary. No one is going to put it in writing that they're using sarcasm. They're just going to put, "Yeah, sure. :-)" And it works. It's short and to the point.
Of course you can't use it if you're writing about someone, because in that case it's considered acceptable to describe someone's feelings. But that's not the case when you're the one talking.
Besides, you can't kill the emoticon. It's too big. I say live on anyway. :-)