A Semiotic Analysis of Cyber Emoticons (A Case Study of Kaskus Emoticons in the Lounge Forum at Kaskus-the Largest Indonesian Community)
AbstractKaskus emoticons have been used widely in cyber, whether in Kaskus forum or blogs and other Instant Messengers (IMs). The use of emoticon in the forum is believed to be the latest way in communication among members. The use of emoticons is necessary to overcome the constraints of online communication, the need of being expressive and time limited. Kaskus emoticons are culturally unique because they are created by Indonesian online users without resorting to western style emoticons. Even though emotion is something universal, the way of how certain community represents it through emoticons is interesting to note. This study is aimed at exploring the significance of Kaskus emoticons in the Lounge forum at Kaskus, the Largest Indonesian Community. The analysis is rooted on semiotics, particularly Roland Barthes’ orders of signification involving five emoticons appearing in the Lounge forum at the site. The findings show that the emoticons have meaning and functions as a way to communicate, particularly in the online forum. It serves as a means of (visual) communication between users to emphasize the statement in online communication, and to show mood of one’s state of feeling so that others can easily acquaint his thoughts. More to the point, emoticons are treated as alteration for some words and their meanings are associated with linked circumstances.
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