For Your Interest: Emojis. Part 1. Real Messages. Real Feelings.

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The most common way of interacting and communicating online today is in short bursts of 3, 4, 5 letters and mini pictographs. Text speak and emojis have taken over social, business and personal expression.

Here is an example: abt2 dl rn🙏 ttyl  👀 boyf🚪.

The plus side is convenience, the ability to connect across cultures and faster communication. Why type out a full, complete message when 3 or 4 letters plus a thumbs up 👍will do? The downside is knowledge gaps, information chaos, internet and two-way drama.

Fun facts: The first text was sent 29 years ago in 1992.* The message read “merry Christmas.” One early emoji is poo,💩, released in 1997**. (*Source: NPR. **J-Phone)

This smiley, letter revolution is global 🇨🇺🇱🇾 and real. In 2015, Oxford Dictionary named Face with Tears Of Joy, 😂, as the Word of The Year. Texted language & emojis have also moved into advertising, corporate speak, notices from schools, bankers plus worldwide institutions.

Before 2015, people and groups used (mostly) full words to share messages, distribute information and express feelings in texts, emails and on social media; straightforward, easy to read, easy to understand ✅ ✅.

Now one-to-one notes, webmail and message boards are increasingly composed of 007 style alphabet and mini coloured symbols; not so easy to follow and not so easy to understand 🤬👎.

Here are some raw numbers on the amount of online communications traffic that happens in one day.
– 319.6* billion emails are sent and received.
– iPhone and mobile users send 6** billion texts.
– There are 3.78*** billion daily active users (DAU) on social media, who generate an average of 1.6 posts.
(2020-2021: Source: *Statista. ** ***Oberlo)

The main goal of communication is to A) inform. B) persuade. A lot is being left behind and “lost in mis-translation.” Looking at a tweet, text or posted comment in 2021 is very much like staring at a tricky multiple choice quiz. By now, who has not had an irritating WTH, head scratching moment wondering if 🍔 means cheesy, or cheeseburger? What does 🧞‍♀️stand for? And is 👻a good thing or a bad sign?
For more and more people, the basic communication steps of receive…recognize…read…reply have switched to a guessing game of “translate the actual message?” 🤔😵‍💫. 

Human nature 101: Where there is room for guess work, there is also an alleyway for misunderstanding, miscommunication, missed opportunity. A hazy read of a text or email can rebound as a simple coffee date mix-up between friends, backfire into a mistake on a business deal, or cross signals for a Netflix & chill hook up. Sometimes, the backlash to a wrong conclusion can be life changing 💀.

Text speak, with its chopped up letters-to-words format like rn (right now), hbd (happy birthday), ilysm (I love you so much) and and ltdo (leave the door open) is its own planet 🪐of inside knowledge, alphabet puzzle and invite to information confusion. There is no user manual. The best method to building up a library of know-how and internal wordbook is regular use plus everyday familiarity. The Game of Texts also has its own decoder available as a handy tool.
[*Scroll down to read a short history of texts]

Enter emojis 💕🚀🏧.
Between emoji(s) and texts, emojis are higher up on the communications ladder and have more intimate significance/baggage. It’s science.
Biology 101: The human brain is programmed to prioritize pictures over words and data. Seeing is believing. In the mind, emojis are treated as more important and meaningful than words.
They were created especially to indicate personal feelings 🥰❤️, and work as message boosters. Users add them to online posts, emails and texts as…mood indicators, to emphasize a point, or express mindstates/sentiments that are not easily explained in words; for example…hope, envy, gratitude. As joke-y as the the yellow smiley faces 😀 and fist symbols ✊look, behind them are real emotions and real intentions.

Fun facts: The word emoji is Japanese. It means “picture character.”* (e = picture. moji = character.) Before emojis, there were emoticons. The three most well known are from the early 1990s:  :-), :-( and <3. (*Source: Wikipedia)

To Be Continued…

*A Short History of Texts.
Texts are a spin-off of telexes, which were first introduced to the public in 1933* by the German Postal Service. In Europe, Asia and Africa, texts are known as an SMS.** (Short Message Service) In the UK, Australia and North America, they are known as…texts. “Texting” has been in wide public use since 1994.*
(*German Reichspost. **Source: Wikimedia)

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Photo Credits: Text Messages Multi, Dennis Crowley. Eye Swirl, Anxious, Pinterest. Face With Tears Of Joy, Pure Mirror. Poo (Large), Vectors and Icons. Eye Emoji, Transparent PNG. Peach, VIP PNG.