They didn't seem significant at the time, but three keystrokes typed exactly 25 years ago tomorrow marked a groundbreaking change in the way we communicate. The keystrokes— a colon, hyphen and a right parenthesis—formed the first smiley-face emoticon. The were created on a computer bulletin board by artificial intelligence pioneer Professor Scott E. Fahlman of Carnegie Mellon University.
"It has been fascinating to watch this phenomenon grow to something that has spread all around the world," Fahlman said. "I sometimes wonder how many millions of people have typed these characters, and how many have turned their heads to one side to view a smiley in the 25 years since this all started."