Compare and contrast three essays: “Smile, You’re Speaking Emoji” by Adam Sternbergh, “Grief in the Age of Facebook” by Elizabeth Stone, and “Is Facebook Making Us Sad?” by Libby Copeland.

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All three of these articles deal with aspects of communication and relationships in the online age, but they do so in different ways. To help you get started on this assignment, let's take a brief look at each of these texts.

First, Adam Sternbergh explores the development of the emoji...

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All three of these articles deal with aspects of communication and relationships in the online age, but they do so in different ways. To help you get started on this assignment, let's take a brief look at each of these texts.

First, Adam Sternbergh explores the development of the emoji in “Smile, You're Speaking Emoji.” He compares these little figures to other systems of symbols, relates them to language, outlines their history, and discusses their use in the modern world. He also talks about how they have changed communication, and not always for the good. The emoji can be easily misunderstood, and it often fails to convey the exact message that the sender wants to send. It cannot really replace words with regard to clarity and expressiveness, yet more and more people use the emoji, often to the detriment of meaning.

Elizabeth Stone's “Grief in the Age of Facebook” also looks at online communication, but it does so through an extended story about a young woman who was killed in an accident and the responses of her friends on Facebook. Stone explores how people grieve online and how the young woman continues to be memorialized by her friends.

Finally, Libby Copeland examines a different aspect of Facebook in “Is Facebook Making Us Sad?” as she explores how people are encouraged to always post positive messages that can ironically make viewers feel second-rate and depressed. She uses plenty of examples to support her points and even includes research studies that indicate that Facebook can actually evoke more negative emotions than positive emotions, especially in people who are constantly trying to compete with others.

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