Mumbai. 31 may 2009.
In a completely expected yet path-breaking study, a team of Social Scientists and Psychologists from Tata Insititute of Social Sciences (TISS) have concluded that most of Indian teenagers suffer from one or another kind of smiley-related syndrome. The syndromes, broadly bracketed as ‘Smiley Over Use in Chats and SMS’ (also known as SOUCHASMistic), ‘Smiley-Turno-Phobia’ (a mortal fear that smiley characters won’t turn 90 degrees to become an animated figure in Gtalk), and ‘Smiley-chronism’ (a condition where the inflicted uses a wrong smiley at wrong time, especially when chatting with a person of the opposite sex ).
Dr. Hatprabh Goswami, the man behind this research, says – “We found that an average teenager finds himself lost for words in places where there are no smileys. Starting or finishing a conversation without a smiley is alien to them.” Based on years of research and a survey of at least 12,0000 teenagers across 52 Indian cities, the TISS team has come up with some startling results. “At least 65 percent teenagers pray and wait for Gtalk smileys to turn around and do their animated gig. That gives them a high like nothing else. In fact, some of them have even started smiling like that in real life…tilting their heads to 90 degrees first, and then getting back to normal with teeth glowing”, adds TISS doctoral student Reshmi Ghosh.
Though the number of teenagers suffering from Smiley-Chronism is very less now (around 24 percent) but scientists don’t deny a possibility of a miscalculation here as “the survey sheets also had smiley-figures to be ticked for correct choices, and some Smiley-chronic teenagers might have ticked wrong ones because of their condition.”