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:
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:
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.
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: