I have always found emoticons beautiful in their cold simplicity. For example, note the ubiquitous smiley :). Although it gives an impression of sincerity, it’s been so over-used that it’s simply become a polite nothing. But if this emoticon is used repetitively, the impression of sincerity is heightened due to the obvious enthusiasm of the writer :) In fact, it becomes almost cute :) Unless the message is sarcastic :) Then it simply becomes annoying :)
On the other hand, ;P portrays an odd mixture of irreverence and self-deprecation. It seems to thumb its nose at convention while admitting that yes, it realizes that it’s being pretty juvenile ;P But if you do away with the wink, all you’re left with is something that looks vaguely constipated :P
Speaking of which, a super-excited, anxious >.< looks pretty constipated too (if you squint). Admittedly kawaii, it always leaves me feeling disturbingly amused. Attaching a super-cute emoticon to your worries makes them come off as trivial. In a cute way, I guess >.<
-_-“ has a coolness bordering on minty. It pretends self-effacement while being passive-aggressively critical. How cool is that? (I mean, seriously, did you need me to tell you this? -_-“) You can even use it in a sincere apology coz the resentment in this emoticon is just so inconspicuous (sorry if you think I’m being long-winded -_-“).
However, my personal favorite has always been the kawaii ^_^ There’s a certain deliberate cheerfulness about it that has always appealed to me. A smile so wide it creases the eyes shut, a calculatedly carefree obliviousness… ^_^ you know what I mean, don’t you?
I’m such a flirt ^_~
Edit: I was going to add another post about punctuation in texting but this post beat me to it ;P