Text symbols are used through mobile phones and social media to convey longer thoughts or feelings in a shorter space. They often consist of shortened words, acronyms and symbols. Text symbols are basically one part to what is considered Internet slang. Internet slang is widely used in forums, social media and text, and is nearly considered a language unto itself.
Text symbols, sometimes called emoji or emoticons, are used to express some type of emotion. They evolved out of a certain necessity as more people used the Internet to communicate. Text by itself can easily be dry and misinterpreted. Emoticon symbols help alleviate that and sometimes make meanings clearer.
The most common text symbols for emoticons are the "smiley faces." These generally consist of :), :(, :| and :/. The first face means happy, the second face means sad, the third face means a neutral or poker face, and the last face means skeptical or unimpressed.
Some other symbols such as @ or the number 2 are used to represent something else. For example, "he's @ home" or "she's going 2 work." In some cases, one letter is used to represent a whole word, such as "u" for "you" and "y" for "why."