If technology is progressing forward, why are we still communicating as the cavemen did? The way we communicate now through messaging is very similar to the hieroglyphs our ancestors used to tell their stories without using words! An image can represent so much more than words can, and even though technology is advancing, our storytelling skills are deeply rooted in our past.
So how do hieroglyphs fit into the technology-based digital world of today?
Through emojis! 🤯 Emojis are used so frequently that they have become a shorthand way of explaining something without using an actual word.
Emoji use is continuing to grow as the digital world continues to expand.
Is it an emoticon or an emoji? 🤷🏼♀️
The Encyclopedia Britannica states that emoticons are punctuation marks, letters, and numbers used to create pictorial icons that generally display emotion or sentiment. An “emoticon” is an emotional icon. The only limitations of using an emoticon are your keyboard. Emojis are the evolution of the emoticon – instead of punctuation marks, we use cartoon-like faces.
Emoticons are the primitive version of the modern-day emoji.
- Emoticon depiction of happiness: : – )
- Emoji depiction of happiness: 🙂
- Smileys & People
- Animals & Nature
- Food & Drink
- Travel & Places
Why do people use emojis? 🤔
Alizah K. Lowell, LCSW-R, CEDS, wrote an article for Psychology Today about why we use emojis. In her experience, emojis are commonly used to:
- Lighten the mood by introducing sarcasm or humor
- Soften the blow of a harsh statement
- Offer a more comfortable way to express yourself or feelings
- A means to communicate when words fail us
The truth is that we all use emojis differently.
I myself use an iPhone 8 Plus as a work phone and a Samsung Galaxy S8+ for personal use. Across both of my devices, my top ten most used emojis are 🤷🏼♀️🤦🏼♀️👌🏻☀️❄️ 😂🐾👑🖤📸. Because emojis are so customized to everyone’s own interpretation and intentions they could be used differently from person to person or from conversation to conversation. Let’s take my top emoji use as an example:
My most used emojis amongst the #ENX2Crew are 🤷🏼♀️🤦🏼♀️👌🏻☀️❄️ and here is how I use them:
- 🤷🏼♀️ Shrugging (I don’t know)
- 🤦🏼♀️Facepalm (“oye vey”)
- 👌🏻OK hand (Got it or OK)
- ☀️Sunshine (“Let’s Be Amazing” or general positivity)
- ❄️Snowflake (NEPA weather or stay unique)
My most used emojis for personal use are 😂🐾👑🖤📸 and here is how I use them:
- 😂Crying Laughing (hysterical laughter or I’m crying it’s so funny)
- 🐾Paw Prints (dog related because the dog emoji has changed its color and it doesn’t look like my dog. #CooperVanks)
- 👑Crown (queen/ boss/ empowered)
- 🖤A black heart (love, just my color preference)
- 📸Camera with flash (usually used as a shorthand way of sharing photo credit for an image I’m sharing)
Sometimes an emoji isn’t compatible across platforms.
I remember how frustrating it was to see a blank box where an emoji should be. This doesn’t happen often, but when it does, I feel like I’m missing something important! This tends to happen to me when an iPhone user sends an emoji to my Samsung phone and my phone needs an update.
While the two devices use the same meanings through their keyboard, but they don’t all look exactly the same. When this happens, you may see an unattractive empty box or box with an “x” through it, copy and paste it into the search bar at emojipedia.org to see what you’re missing!
Fun fact: @Botmoji is a bot on Twitter that will tell you what your unseen emoji is actually supposed to be!
But why do they look different across platforms?
It’s all about the text behind them! Because emojis are recognized as text to the various operating systems, they aren’t actually translated as an image. While we see an emoji as a cute little image, it is still text based. Therefore, the artwork is specifically tied to the fonts that are used in that system. But it’s the design of the emoji that changes from platform to platform, not the meaning.
New Emojis Are Coming In 2019! 🎉
Because emojis are becoming more commonly used as a form of shorthand communication, the emojis are expanding their reach! Coming later this year, there will be 230 new emojis available, some of which will include emojis that represent those with disabilities!
From emoticons to emojis, but what’s next?
Technology is evolving, that’s a fact of life. Well, it only makes sense that our emojis would too. From emoticons to emojis, there are additional ways that people can communicate without actually using any text at all. Bitmoji allows you to create your own expressive cartoon avatar. They’re similar to a digital sticker, although some of the Geofilters and lenses allow your Bitmoji to move around and be represented in a 3D version.
Apple users can make an Animoji avatar, which can be more intricate than a Bitmoji because facial features are animated to be similar to the way you would react. Plus, they can utilize your voice as a recording to send a message on your behalf. However, the available faces are limited to set characters, such as a cat, dog, alien, or even a T-Rex.
Animoji can be upgraded even more so for iPhone X users as a Memoji. The main difference between the two is that a Memoji uses the iPhone X’s camera and advanced technology to mirror your facial muscles into animated responses. And it looks so much more like you!
For Samsung users, the next step above a Bitmoji is an augmented reality version of the user’s emoji — AR Emoji for Galaxy devices. The camera and technology in the S9 and S9+ devices create a similar user experience to that of the Animoji and its ability to mirror your facial muscles into animated responses. Samsung users also have exclusive access to Disney branded characters to display instead of your own as a Disney AR Emoji.
ENX2 and the emoji trends.
It’s no secret to the ENX2 Crew or our clients that the use of an emoji is a new way of stirring up engagement and interest in the digital media world. In the words of our CEO, Nicole Farber, “Let’s Be Amazing. ☀️” and yes, the sun emoji is always included! Nicole uses a ☀️ to represent positivity, and to inspire us all to be positive and to continue to shine! I think the world could benefit from following her lead and sharing some sunshine and positive vibes.