Recently, I had to convey someone who was just about to go off the network, just how much, how so very much, happy, I was. In my mind, I had a lot of words to describe my happiness, but I had only a few seconds left to express that feeling.
Then a thought occurred to me and I quickly sent the following on my messaging app on the phone :
Simple. Honest. Profound.
Now, almost an inevitable, vital part of the human to human relationships in this digital century, have become a phenomenon.
Our conversations are not Black & White, or should I say… Black, White & Yellow anymore.
Just for the record, Emojis, are different from the “emoticons” – those yellow round faces with different emotions on them.
Emojis are the standardized set of Unicode icons, started first in Japan, and include smileys too, but also a broader collection of icons.
They are colorful, tiny pictographs representing activities, objects, feelings, emotions, gestures and much more. And so much is the popularity and demand for more and more diverse Emojis, that Unicode Consortium (a non-profit corporation devoted to developing, maintaining, and promoting software internationalization standards and data, particularly the Unicode Standard, which specifies the representation of text in all modern software products and standards) have to keep adding more and more of them.
Their invasion in our lives reaches beyond our text messengers it seems. I have seen them as Halloween costumes, as balloons, in books, in movies, in marketing and promotional items. People just relate to them so much. They are so much a part of life these days!
So exactly why are they so much popular? Is it just the cuteness/fun factor? Or the reasoning runs a bit deeper than that?
I have made an interesting observation. The Emojis serve to two very opposite type of people the most.
One, those who want to use very few words. Either out of time constraint or for other reasons, like being habituated to giving neutral answers or simply not willing to express themselves enough. You know, those brevity liking people.
And others, who just tend to go all out expressing themselves…taking help from all the possible means at their disposal. Those who want to say something in a more vivacious fashion, those who like to narrate some topic/incident with more than mere words.
One type of usage might be catering to some practical situations, and the other, to the more romantic/creative side of our day to day conversations. Either way, these Emojis come quite handy, in saving some tricky situations.. and in bringing smiles to the ones who are on the other end.
We human beings are programmed to like pictorial, colorful representations of any matter. And that is why an unexpected Emoji sent along with a text message triggers an instantaneous and usually a stronger emotional response in us. It actually amplifies a message. Be it a sad one or a pleasant one.
An Emoji, if used logically can actually work as a conjunction in a statement and add clarity and details to what you are saying.
For example. If you send the following message to someone,
– “You are stupid.”
To this message, the emotional response of the receiver can be anything. Offended, hurt, upset, happy, shy, embarrassed, loved… And well, not necessarily the one that you actually intended.
Now, one by one, imagine each of the following Emojis being appended to the same message. Each message will then have a unique interpretation, making your meaning a lot clearer.
As much as I love words and written expressions, there is no denying the fact that Emojis are playful and expressive in a way text cannot be, only pictures can be.
Their interpretational potential adds a third dimension to the otherwise flat looking, technologically empowered conversation between two people who are not in front of each other in reality.
There is also a section of people who think these little graphics are killing our language as we know it. Well, that debate is pretty subjective and requires a dedicated space of its own.
But, one thing is sure to me. If we really want to save our language, we will first have to take care of the language itself. For starters, Lets first get rid of that annoying ‘k’. Yes, the one that is ubiquitously used in place of “okay”… :)
Tasteful use of graphical narratives here and there, cannot hurt a language. By adding a dash of drama and fancy to our words, it actually decorates it, giving one the freedom to be as much unique as one wants in his/her narration, limited only by one’s imagination.
Emojies have brought instant creativity, so pleasantly childlike and so simply forthright – to our routine conversations happening on messenger apps, which is also, perhaps the only way we are having our longest talks these days.. :)
What do you think?
Post your comments below, and don’t miss to watch this delightful video I found on Youtube… :)
Article © 2015 Gyaneshwari Dave