A couple days ago, my co-workers at KING were having a water-cooler conversation about the winking emoticon.  You know, the semi-colon immediately followed by the half open paranthesis. Whether it's on IM, Email, or text messaging, the e-wink is possibly the most misunderstood and suggestive emoticon in the online/digital communication lexicon and women have taken to it like it was a period. (No pun intended.)

Even prior to this conversation, I would talk about the e-wink with male friends of mine who work in other industries,  and all of them recalled an instance when they were corresponding in a very business-like or innocent manner with a female and a wink was given and it always made them take a step back. One of my friends mentioned a time he was emailing back and forth with a female co-worker in regards to a project, and at the end of the last email his co-worker sent him, there was a wink, but he wasn't sure, so he scratched at his screen to verify the semi-colon was indeed not a colon. "A smile would've been just fine, but a wink" he asked rhetorically. "I don't know. I still think it was a typo because she doesn't look at me like that when we're in a meeting."

To be fair, a couple of my boys admitted they've sent out an e-wink or two to a female co-worker. But, they also admitted that by doing so, they were trying to set a casual tone and the recipient was someone they felt safe would interpret the message in a positive way. See, when a man sends an e-wink to a woman, he's trying to smooth out whatever inappropriate comment he made. Sort of like saying, "Just kidding!" None of them, I should mention, ever sent a wink to another male colleague. That's just weird. It's sort of like lower-back tattoos. There's no law banning men from getting a lower-back tattoo, but if one of your boys had one of those, wouldn't that be a red flag that he isn't who you might think he is? I digress...

I know this all seems silly. Super Bowl Sunday is in a couple of days, and Super Tuesday is in a few days, but someone, okay I, must speak out against the abuse of the e-wink. Men are tired of seeing it, ladies. We know emoticons and online communication are a part of the fabric of our everyday lives, and we know you think one of these, ;), are cute. But let me make a suggestion for all the ladies who use the e-wink like it's going out of style: Cut that shit out.

Think about it ladies. In face-to-face conversations, you don't wink at your co-worker after he has just confirmed the time of your meeting. You don't wink at the team member who did a good job on their part of the proposal, do you? I think not. Even at the club, the chances of you finding a man worthy to wink at is slim to none, unless you've put about four drinks in you. Online though, you all wink at everybody. Even your daddies, probably. So ladies, quit it, because men are getting tired of all the ambiguous teasing you're doing with the e-wink. It's sexual harassment, and we don't have to take it.