using emoji: a quick how-to guide
I’m starting to think emoji are taking over the planet.
In case you’re wondering, emoji are those tiny pictures of people, places, and things—smiley faces, sushi, syringes, shit, snowboarders—that can take the place of words altogether. The word emoji is a combination of two Japanese words: e (picture) and moji (character).
Emoji are a language everyone can understand. Here’s Bill Nye the Science Guy using emoji to explain climate change in 111-seconds:
Like pepperoni, emoji can be sprinkled lightly to soften the impact of text messages and social media posts that might otherwise be misunderstood by your reader.
First developed by a team of Japanese software engineers in the late 1990s, emoji are cute and a bit childish, but they’re also fun and convenient.
When I’m wishing someone a happy birthday on Facebook, for example, I might post this:
So much easier and fun than the same-old, same-old. Not to mention, it’s faster than typing “happy birthday” out on a keyboard, which is so 2011.
Emoji are addictive once you start using them…
Some believe the brilliant writer U.S. President Abraham Lincoln was the first to use an emoticon, emoji’s first cousin, in a draft of a speech in 1862. Emoticons use type-face to express emotions, like this 😉
Looking at the big picture behind these cute little images, emoji have become the first widely adopted, universal pictorial language, a global lingua franca. I’m not the only one to think so.
My biggest peeve about emoji—their lack of diversity—has been solved with the latest upgrade of Apple’s IOS (operating system). You can now hold your finger down on many of your favorite emoji to see a range of pigmentation. Chances are good that your smartphone has emoji tucked inside it.
On your iPhone’s “Settings,” you can go to “General” then “Keyboards” and select “Emoji” from the languages list.
My most-used emoji is the embarrassed or “flushed face” guy.
If I’m a little worried or uncertain about something, or if I just want to say, “Whoops!” then Mr. Flush-Face is my go-to. Plus, he’s super cute.
My number 2 most-used emoji actually is Number 2: poo, which has been sanitized to look like a smiling swirl of chocolate soft-serve ice cream. No flies on this swirly poo:
I also love what I call the “pink lady throwing shade,” aka Information Desk Person. She’s keeping it real, and telling it like it is. Snap!
Do you use emoji, or do you think they’re dumbing-down our language?
I thought the emoji was childish..no reflection on children! Then…I thought it was a sort of (:-) good idea! Go figure.Lucy
Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphone
Great post! I have used about 6 emoji in my life. I’m transitioning from emoticon, and giving up my yahoo email, too! 😉
ruh roh…I know that yahoo is the new aol, but I’m not ready to give mine up yet
Working in an office with about 100 folks in it, with Skype as a primary mode of communication, I receive emoji daily. My biggest discomfort and upset about this practice is that, whenever I view certain Skype conversations, there are emoji-animations jumping all over: a ninja, Saturday-Night-Fever dancer, a giggler, etc. Then there’s text, “lol” or some other hip abbreviation. I do use emoji sometimes when I know it will “create intimacy”, a stronger working relationship. However, I much prefer someone attaching a photo of a real person/place and/or writing words to express something. Or even a link to a video that someone loves. It takes effort to communicate, and I want friends and colleagues to wrestle a little to clarify what they want me to know.
Dear Andrew, I love your thoughtful comments, and since I don’t have emoji handy on my laptop, my response to you will be 100% English language, with nary an emojo in sight. Bear in mind that emoji are different than emoticons…emoticons come in handy with work emails, because they can weaken perceived slights, or take the sting away from something that might otherwise be interpreted as being too harsh. Email, texts, IMs, etc can be tricky because without a human voice to hear the delivery, the intention behind the missive can be easily misread.
I will also add that I am an emoji purist: animated emoji annoy the living hell out of me. They are cheesy (and not in a good way).