Social norms need to keep up with how we communicate today

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It used to be a commonly held belief that every request deserved a response. Not replying to someone who had sent you an invitation, made a request, or asked a question would be seen as a breach of the social contract. Indeed, it’s the entire basis of the RSVP, which literally comes from the French phrase “répondez s’il vous plaît,” or “please respond.”

This may have worked well back in the days of the home phone and snail mail, but how many requests would the average person need to respond to in 1990 anyway? These days, however, it’s a barrage.

The New New

Each year brings new additions outdated tech can barely support

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Last month, Apple added 158 new emojis to iOS, but the emoji keyboard on iPhone — the primary means of accessing each of these characters — remains almost identical to the one we used nearly a decade ago.

Meanwhile, people push for competing interests. Some want more emojis to better represent the diverse world we live in while others are frustrated by the ever-increasing list of characters to scroll past when new emojis push old favorites to the side.

“Just make it stop!” my friend Elle remarked after the most recent update, clearly falling in the latter camp of emoji…

Jeremy Burge

Chief Emoji Officer at Emojipedia and host of the Emoji Wrap podcast.

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