Yesterday we spoke about the general aversion that now permeates our culture toward answering the phone. The article wasn’t about disconnecting in general, but rather on avoiding a more direct form of human interaction in favor of texting (“Sorry I’m in a meeting!”) or reading Twitter, checking out Facebook, etc.
If texting is the gateway drug to forgoing person-to-person contact, then what are Emojis? In a recent Business Insider article, one author wonders at teenagers’ usage of the gummy, bright emoticons in favor of actual words.
But I’m not a teenager…and I do this too. If I’m hungry and want to get food I might text a friend the burger and fries with a question mark to follow. (At least I’m still employing use of proper punctuation.) But I’ll also respond to a friend’s sad text with a frowning yellow face, and if someone asks me my plans on a Saturday night you know they’re getting the leotard twins plus red-dress-salsa-lady in return. Are Emojis aiding in a reverse-evolution process wherein we communicate like cavemen, where a smiling soft-serve swirl of poop has become a whole paragraph in and of itself?
I’m sure there are many who would like to believe so for sake of arguments and finding yet another point of contention with Gen Y…but even our parents have come to learn this shorthand by way of Pictionary. Emojis are fun. They soften blows and offer a response when words fail. Sometimes — I don’t know about you — my thumbs hurt and texting full sentences are just as laborious as explaining my plans by way of vocal chords.
For the sake of our sanity it’s best we just assume teenagers use Emojis for the same reasons we all do, and that the overwhelming global lexicon isn’t doomed because someone wants to send, as the author pointed out Girls’ Shoshanna was known to do, a panda next to a gun next to a wrapped gift. So what if it doesn’t make sense? Anything is better than “K.”
Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Concerns? Can’t wait to hear it all in the comments section. Too bad you can’t leave an Emoji. =(