Since its inception in 1982, the "smiley" has been used in a number of ways, all of which make Mary Elizabeth Williams "want to smack the half circle off its stupid face." Even though bright people use emoticons, "when I see a smiley, my first thought is, 'What are you, 12 years old?'" she writes in Salon. It's time for the ubiquitous :-)—along with its garish, animated, higher-tech counterpart—to die.
Most irksome is the assumption that she, as your reader, won't understand the basic emotion behind the words you're stringing together—but there's also the simple fact that "not every communication requires a clarification regarding how it makes you feel." The worst offenders, though, are the passive-aggressive smiley insulters: "A group email or Facebook comment to the effect of 'Nice dress—I didn't know there was a hooker convention in town. ;-)' is just bullshit."