Caroline Moss at Business Insider tried to only use emoji to text for a week and, spoiler alert, it was pretty difficult. I probably wouldn’t even last one day if I attempted to do this, but I bet I would have some pretty interesting/fun/frustrating conversations…
It’s only been three years since emoji-mania (I can call it that, right?) started — our thumbs swiping frantically through all the smiley faces, objects and symbols (floppy disk, anyone?) and various planes, trains and automobile to find the perfect little picture character to accompany our thoughts —and there have been countless articles on whether emoji has influenced the way we communicate.
Some people just aren’t into emojis for one reason or another (i.e. “Adults who use emoji should grow up” and “Why I hate emoji icons, and why you probably should too”), but Vyvyan Evans thinks there’s nothing lazy about using emoji to communicate (woo hoo <insert thumbs up emoji> or <T>, which Ian Tarbert and I like to use when the emoji keyboard is not available). According to this article (and numerous others), emojis in texts are like hand gestures in conversations — mostly used to “support and enhance the meaning conveyed in the text” rather than to completely replace the actual words and meaning.
I’ve always been a big fan of the OGs here — the classic :) :( :P :D faces — but I fell hard and fast when the emojis came around. I only wanted to use cats to communicate my feelings, prayer hands to accompany my down dogs and pineapples and the little Japanese couple whenever I was feeling happy/excited/celebratory, but I knew I could never substitute words with these guys because, while there might be emojis with obvious meanings, everyone still has their own interpretation for each picture. Like Caroline Moss says:
“It’s a language that’s more subjective than objective. It became very clear early on that it would never replace the written word, unless as a civilization we were able to come together and assign very specific meanings to each picture that could, under no circumstance, be changed.”
So, don’t worry guys, we’ll still be communicating via words and stuff (granted bad grammar is still a thing — unfortunately) but it’s ok to slip in a poop emoji or a little ghost for Halloween here and there — I think those have obvious meanings (at least to me!).
Oh and, if you’re up for the emoji-only challenge, text me your best game face emoji because it’s on!