thoughts & opinion

We Need to Talk about Emojis

Actually, we need to talk about a lot more than emojis, so now that you’re here.

I need you to do something for me first, think about what a friend is to you. Likely you have an idea, your own personal definition that varies from person to person.

Now I want you to open your Facebook page, how many friends do you have?

One of the things I find most interesting about social media is that it has redefined what a friend is.

Now a friend is someone that you met, someone sent a friend request and you accepted.

Maybe you never spoke to that person again. Maybe you talk every day; only one of these is a friend.

And it’s not that simple.

Social media has not just redefined friendship, it redefines boundaries, it redefines manners and appropriate behavior. It’s changing how we find jobs, intimate relationships and how we communicate.

Ever get hit on by a random person on Facebook? I have.

And while we are on the subject,  if you are trawling Facebook hitting on random people, Tinder is the social media platform you are looking for.

This is where emojis come in. 30885903192_ef30f9cce6_z

Image: “4 Caras Emoji” By Martin Cox Licensed under CC BY 2.0

I love emojis. I love the unicorn emoji 🦄, though I never have any use for it. I love the avocado emoji 🥑, it’s just so cute and I don’t know why.

I read about the period emoji a few weeks ago and I thought it was a really cool way of saying our culture accepts this thing that happens in your body and nobody need feel ashamed of it.

You have probably heard of emojis referred to as part of language.

There are more than 1000 emojis and most people use them to convey an emotion. Some people use them in place of words.

All language depends on a shared meaning. So words are symbols as emojis are, but in order to use them to communicate, the person sending the message and the person receiving the message must know what it means

There’s nothing wrong with using emojis to communicate , but as with words, it is only respectful to be mindful of which ones you use and with who.

If you don’t the message sent and the message received don’t match.

For instance, using a kissing emoji 😘 when speaking to an acquaintance is never okay, right?

What about a friend? Maybe, depends on the friend, right?

Maybe it’s okay in private but not on public comment?

This is because most people have an idea of what the kissing emoji means, we share roughly the meaning because we know what kissing is and we know why and with whom we do it.

But do we always think of emojis as similar to words or representations of concepts?

Is an emoji just an emoji?

This is important because social media is redefining how we behave. It’s changing how we feel we should behave.

Not everyone is okay with that change and not everyone feels okay to say so.

Think of it this way, would you say to someone you hardly know or are not close with, that you want to kiss them.

That might make them really uncomfortable.

Is that the message you intended to send?

If not why would you use the kissing emoji?

If somebody used an emoji that conveyed a message you were uncomfortable with, would you feel comfortable saying it to them?

Mostly I believe if someone makes you uncomfortable, you should say so, how else would they know? 🤷‍♀️

Well, they might know by being mindful of what they say and what constitutes saying.🤯

Maybe I’m wrong.

What do you think?

Are all emojis equal?

What do you do when someone makes you uncomfortable online?

What do you wish you could say?

When I say I want to know what you think I mean it, so let me know.

 

Until next time! 😊

Shannon

 

  •  Graphic made with Canva

 

3 thoughts on “We Need to Talk about Emojis”

  1. Internet communication, predominantly “instant messaging”, relies on emojis to help people convey a certain tone or feeling. Face to face, it’s all about mannerisms. When it comes to online communication we need another way to achieve that – emojis. I know that when I talk to new people, I’m more inclined to use emojis as it helps when to gauge my personality and understand how I mean to my messages to be interpreted and to prevent offence. Emojis have, no doubt, altered the way in which we communicate.

    Like

    1. I’m the same and also if I feel that my wording comes off as cold or harsh (even if nobody else thinks so) I can put in an emoji, that way I feel less anxious and there’s less chance of the other person misunderstanding my intentions.
      Isn’t it fantastic that we can put facial expressions into our messages!

      Like

  2. Emojis have become integrated in every day communication to friends and family. However, still it is not acceptable to use emojis in a professional sense! Well, maybe if using messengers on our work computers! Interesting points!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s