Right. I admit that in the old days of the internet, I thought they were a tad annoying and a crutch people used in cases where they could not articulate their point adequately with words. But now I have come around. In the context of a forum like this with so many different voices chiming in with short discussion points, they kind of stand in for the body language and tone that is missing from online interactions.
That said, the new CAF has far more emoticons/emojis than the old CAF.