This is a great topic by Sam Singh!
Immediately, I pictured people with emoticon faces. As in the article about email etiquette, we sometimes rely on emoticons to relay a feeling that we cannot impress in words. But is it because emoticons are convenient, and words take too long to edit and arrange? Emoticons are a part of a universal language spoken in the virtual boundaries of email, chat rooms and other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. A single emoticon can communicate more than one meaning. ;p (the winky face) can easily follow: "I think you're a babe, ;p" or "You're too young for me, ;p". These emoticons are multi-functional! But when something is so versatile, it can be generalized and a specific notion is lost. Really, you miss out on sharing something personal like how great your day is when all you post is :). I'm not hating, I'm just pointing it out. I use emoticons, too. :p, like there.
I am going to do a series of portraits of different people (maybe 9 or 12). But instead of capturing the physical features that identify our distinctiveness, faces will be simplified to convey a universal emotion. I'm thinking of doing them in pencil and acrylic...
And lastly, here's an excellent emoticon illustration I found online today.
It's an Emoticon Love Story (by Miss Tal).