Michael Brandow has a fine piece in Quillette lamenting the rise of cuteness and its pernicious effects on what we are.
Call me a sociopath, but I’ve always had a problem with things conspicuously cute. As a child growing up in the sixties and seventies, unlike most of my peers, I couldn’t help but see something creepy, even sinister in those smiley faces supposed to make us smile. The weird yellow circles with the arched mouths and dead black ovals for eyes, slapped on everything from school binders to rear bumpers and hippie asses, didn’t elicit the warm-and-fuzzy feelings intended, not for me. No more do those favorite emojis on social media today, really just variations on a smiley, make me trust the opinions they’re used to express.
No I don't like emojis either, not because they fail to convey what they are supposed to, but because they are so much more limited than words. Subtleties are lost.
Brandow also describes how Mickey Mouse changed from Walt Disney's original mischievous rodent to something far cuter and less threatening.
The whole piece is a longish but entertaining and interesting read, especially Brandow's references to supposed links between violence on the screen and social violence. He isn't buying it.
Towards the end we have this observation about social media.