I hate emoticons, but I'm starting to use them with greater frequency.
My gut tells me that visual communications of this sort are dumbing down literacy, and I'm trying to communicate that with regularity by expressing my distaste. But there is a possibility that there may be some good to come of visual communications of a sort. I'm just not convinced that it will be done right.
When I think of visualization I understand first and foremost that when the motion picture was invented, its originators considered it to be an extraordinarily powerful medium for the purposes of instruction. Talking about how to plant a row of corn could never compete with showing a film of a farmer doing this with close-ups of his hands in the soil. Similarly, today we are regaled with the promise of virtual reality goggles with augmentation that can show a repairman at a remote location how to fix a piece of equipment he's never seen before. But television has also shown people how Lucille Ball might fake a commercial for Vitameatavegimin and all sorts of things that we've never seen before.
I will revisit this subject in due time. I am recalibrating my thoughts having completed Kevin Kelly's latest book.