World Emoji Day: Have our words evolved into emojis as a form of expression?

Emojis serve as the perfect addition to our day to day texting by adding a visual element to it. In the Internet Age now communication goes far beyond just by pressing a simple text message. Small iconic images that are mostly seen on social media or text messages are known as emojis which are more popular on the internet today.

World Emoji Day is celebrated to represent an idea or an emotion through electronic means. Emoji is a small digital icon and is undoubtedly an integral part of our text-based conversations. When we feel lazy or when we are at a loss for words then we use emojis to express what we want to. For every feeling, there are emojis now. From the past years, emojis have evolved. It not only expresses simple human feelings but does much more than that.

Celebrating the new medium of communication!

Emojis are fun to use and are just the right method to communicate with one icon that a combination of 26 letters can’t.

World Emoji Day is a global celebration of the digital icon that has helped people around the world express their emotions better. Regardless of which situation you are in, emojis can save the day. You can convey a wide range of emotions through just a tap of your finger.

Words have become a thing of the past as you can express anger, love, happiness, joy, playfulness, laughter, shock, disgust and more. Emojis are not just limited to that; more and more objects, animals, activities, and faces are added each year simply to ensure that if you ever need to say something, it can be done through emojis! A whole string of sentences can be constructed just with the use of emojis.

The universally agreed-upon meaning of these emojis has evolved from being occasionally used into an entire language of its own.

According to Johanna Nichols, former professor of linguistics, the gold standard for distinguishing languages is “mutual intelligibility.” And even if emojis do not yet qualify as a formal language, they work exceptionally well as a system of visual expression.

The current creators of emojis have released more options that include gender-neutral alternatives, skin tones all over the spectrum and even representation of accessibility like mechanical limbs, hearing aids, etc. to make this form of communication completely inclusive.

World Emoji Day: Purpose

The main purpose of the day is to promote the use of emojis and spread the emoji for the enjoyment that they bring to all of those around us. Emojis are for all of us.

Say It with an Emoji

What started as a smiley face is now a gallery of some of the most recognizable icons for both Millennials and Gen-Z’ers. We can choose to look at these colorful graphics as symbols that live on our screens and beneath our thumbs, while we text, tweet and share; or we can choose to use these icons as a communication tool to deliver messages that yield storytelling, representation and signify inclusion.

Emojis break the barrier of language communication in the digital world. These language-transcending “characters” have more than just penetrated our daily conversations — they’ve become their own form of communication.

The word “emoji” stems from the word “emotion” — while some of the more obscure ones are a bit hard to contextualize), we can use so many of them instead of text to express how we feel or tell a story.

From “Like” to “Love”

To see just how much emojis have influenced our culture, look no further than Facebook. In 2016, Facebook released Reactions — an upgrade to the classic thumbs-up “like” button that had remained unchanged since it was first introduced in early 2009.

New options consisted of “love”, “haha”, “wow”, “sad” and “angry”. Facebook product developers were faced with the challenge of making this new community of reactions “universally understood and equally useful”.

Identity and Self Expression

Emojis are a form of identity and expression. When people use emojis, they want to feel represented on their keyboards. In 2015, the skin tone modifier was created to “support [skin tones and] a range of family combinations” (pictured below).

These strides towards diversifying representation further prove that emojis hold more meaning than we often give them credit for. In fact, Apple proposed that the 2019 emojis include an emphasis on the handicapped community, the deaf community, service animals and prosthetics. Thumbs up to that, Apple!

Conclusion

Although World Emoji Day may seem trivial, when we acknowledge how far emojis have come from even a few years ago and the tremendous power they have over the digital community, it’s worth celebrating.

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