Do you communicate in emoji? Do you put little faces and dancing people in your texts? Do you wish you could speak in emoji as well? If your friend tells you she has had a horrible experience at the dry cleaner, do you want to be able to eliminate all those pesky words like, “Oh my gosh, what a jerk! I can’t believe he wrecked your dress and won’t give you your money back. That’s outrageous!”? Wouldn’t it be much easier to say:
I am a lover of words. A wordsmith by trade. A reader of books, for goodness sake. I used to think that people who texted little sailboats and hearts were being a bit ridiculous. I mean really, what is that about???? Are you 12???? But then, when my phone’s texting keyboard presented me with a menu of emojis, including little pictures of palm trees, I could resist no longer. So much can be conveyed so quickly, and often better than mere words could. Emotions require a lot of describing, but a smiley-face with a kiss is quick and to the point. And a lot of fun.
I still have some uncertainty with this new language. What about grammar and punctuation? Do you put a period after the angry face if it comes at the end of a sentence? Or is it, itself, the punctuation, used in place of an exclamation mark? Some images, strung together, can read like a sentence. Is it OK to insert words amongst the footballs and beer mugs? Or should they be left to stand alone, speaking for themselves in their own cheesy language? Is it sometimes bad etiquette to communicate with emojis, or have they passed from novelty into general acceptability?
Perhaps this is all just part of the disintegration of our society. As we replace letters and words with pictures, we regress back to the language of cave drawings (which, frankly, are beautiful artistic works, and therefore have a huge leg-up on emojis … ).