For most smartphone users, you should be familiar with these cute little smiley faces that are found in multiple text messages you get from your friends and families.
That’s right, I’m talking about the Emoji icons which are conveniently downloaded onto the keyboards on most smartphones nowadays.
For those unfamiliar with the history of Emoji, Emoji are the ideograms or smileys used in Japanese electronic messages and webpages, whose use is spreading outside Japan. Originally meaning pictograph, the word emoji literally means “picture” (e) + “character” (moji). The first emoji were created in 1998 or 1999 by Shigetaka Kurita, who was part of the team working on NTT DoCoMo’s i-mode mobile internet platform.
Consisting mostly of emotional expressions, but also strangely, random animals and symbols, I find it difficult to understand why anyone might actually like them.
Emoji Icons expresses little emotions.
Ironic as this may sound, it is the truth for both parties, be it the sender or recipient. The use of Emoji Icons has been so prevalent that people don’t think twice about sending these icons of happy, angry or sad expressions. They just insert it in their messages when most of the time, they aren’t even really feeling that happy, angry or sad. Plus, from a recipient’s point of view, I feel nothing for this tiny icon on my screen when I received it. Except irritation.
How am I suppose to react to a text message accompanied with these icons? Does it matter? And why are there fishes? (This is a real mystery to me and in what context of a normal conversation do you use these fish icons or any other animal expressions?)
Also, why do some people have to use repeated icons in one message? Ok, I get it, you’re happy, but having tons of smiley faces in one text alone makes no sense at all.
Sometimes, it lacks sincerity.
This is hard to prove, but hear me out.
Remember the days when something called words are used to describe feelings? At the very least, some efforts are made to create facial expressions with whatever symbols found on the keyboard. Ok, maybe I’m just feeling nostalgic, but one can’t help feeling if this ease and convenience achieved by simple insertion of Emoji Icons have substituted the thought and efforts gone into constructing a message.
We’re smarter than this.
So why do we have to dumb ourselves? Ok, maybe not. We are witnessing a generation that are (still) surviving and communicating with words like “LOL” and “TTYL”. While no drastic side effects have emerged yet to display the deterioration of mankind, but this remains to be seen.