Emojis have taken over the internet world, invading our Facebook messages and setting up camp in our keyboards. We’ve already lost WhatsApp to them – that was taken a long time ago and we don’t like to talk about it.
It’s a sad day when little cat faces have replaced our emotional responses. Cute cat faces, but still. Apparently words don’t cut it any more but colourful little icons and smiley turds are just the way to express happiness. Here comes embarrassing honesty – I love sending a good old flamenco dancer (and it’s rarely even appropriate or relevant – I’m the worst kind of emoji abuser). I’m a repressed Brit up with the rest of them and a toothy grin on a round yellow face is much easier to send than ‘you make me happy’ or ‘I love you so much I steal your used napkins and eat them’ (wow that got dark…ahem sorry guys). It’s not that emojis don’t say it right, it’s more the horror that face to face is already eliminated, voices are not even in the mix either, and we can’t even TYPE those important words? Have we become a scary new form of detached? Have we reached new levels of repressed? Or have we simply lost our guts?
That’s what most people would say, especially anyone over the age of 25. The kids these days, they just can’t say it like it is. Well I disagree. I’m turning this around on our accusers; our previous generation can’t HANDLE our emojis. The smiling poo conveys an emotion too complex to otherwise communicate and evokes a conflicting mix of anger, confusion and delight that nothing else can. It would give the most robust of aunts, uncles or grandparents a mini seizure. Because the poo is adorable. But it has mocking eyes.
A picture says a thousand words and sometimes ‘well done’ does not cut it. ‘I am so excited’ or even ‘I AM SO EXCITED’ is just not as emphatic without fireworks, dancing ladies and crying happy faces. And those cocktail emojis do more to my tastebuds than the word ever could, so excuse me while I wipe the drool from my chin. That little puppy face you send to your girlfriend? Nothing says true love more convincingly.
Now let’s not go crazy though, folks. Don’t go sending your boyfriend an arrow-struck heart and a crying face to break up with him. I mean at least send him the sunny beach, so, you know, he knows it will get better, happier horizons and all.
But as a rule, don’t fear your emojis. They fill an emotional void in conversations that could otherwise dance around the subject or misconstrue. Be clear with a straight-to-the-point monkey face and make sure that in this digital age of screen to screen communication, you don’t lose your ability to express yourself. Folks – get in touch with your emojis.