POP CULTURE: EMOJIS VS. EMOTICONS. A SOCIAL COMMENTARY ON THE EVOLUTION OF SELF-EXPRESSION

Kimoji, Chymoji, Ellen Emoji Exploji, Latino Emojis, you name it; they exist. Is today’s essential keyboard emojis just a cheap revival of the early 2000’s emoticons? I have very fond memories of the old smileys as a child. Of course, I had my MSN Messenger account with all of the toys. Colorful display name (sometimes rainbow color coordinated), my custom chat font and color, and of course, my hundreds of choices of emoticons with keyboard shortcuts that I probably knew by heart in order to express my 8-year-old feelings. Directly and to the point, I don’t really think emojis are a cheap copy of these trends, I just think it’s funny how technology trends evolve and tend to go up and down through the years with a repeating pattern. Today’s emojis are the natural evolution of smiley faces and have become an essential part of anyone’s daily life.

I’m one of those people who cannot write a text message without an emoji (At least to friends and family). I feel emojis are meant to be used, and there are so many in stock that there’s a dozen of them that I haven’t even seen ever before. And yet, people keep coming out with more and more of them. Celebrities and agencies have created their own line of customized emojis that evokes the language and imagery that represents them, and are making huge profits out of that! Kim Kardashian, I believe, was the one to come up with the first set. Blac Chyna followed, and now Ellen DeGeneres has joined the trend. These emojis are animated and go hand in hand with today’s urban slang. Emojis have become today’s pop culture. We see them in pins, t-shirts, hats, bags, and wherever else we can possibly think of. Emojis are today’s form of expression through a digital world where words are too binding and can often be misinterpreted.

Trends are truly like waves, they come and go all the time. After the decline of MSN Messenger and the excessive amount of customized fonts, emojis, and animated dancing pigs, I feel like suddenly everything became very design-simplistic. People were saturated with the excessive time it took to customize the looks of their Messenger and their conversations. I took it as a full-time job to make my profile perfect back then because self-expression has always been important. After the dry smiley-face period, emojis have emerged to bring back the future’s form of expression, and they’re nowhere near the end.

Emojis are a loud and clear societal statement; We want to express ourselves, we need to let the world know that we are not “Ok” We need to let the world that we are “Ok :3”. Emojis aretoday’s pop culture.

Emojis mark different tones and connotations

I took the liberty to screenshot my most used emojis, the ones that I absolutely cannot live without. As you may see, I’m very fond of a series of different animals. Bears, dogs, goats, fishes, and snails. I have a very morbid and dramatic sense of humor, which is why I have things such as a revolver, an explosion, and a blank emoji looking upwards in a sense of “WTH?!”, and a hopeless crying smiley. And you? What are YOUR favorite emojis that you can’t absolutely live without? I’m dying, figuratively, to hear! Leave your comments and thoughts; I’m very willing to have an in-depth conversation about Emojis any given day of the week. See you friends later!

Beatriz’s favorite emojis