Bloganuary Day 12: Down with the kids…
What emoji(s) do you like to use?
Back in the mid-sixties, I seem to recall a British High Court judge interrupting a speech by counsel to enquire ‘Who are The Beatles?‘ Unsurprisingly, this attracted a wave of derisive comments about old fuddy-duddies being out of touch with modern life, etcetera etcetera.
So I am not going to respond to today’s Bloganuary prompt by pretending never to have heard of emojis. Of course I have. I have even answered the question in the title of this post.
None of that means that I actually understand them, though.
There is a popular early evening quiz programme on British TV called ‘House Of Games’. One of the rounds (infelicitously called ‘Totes Emoji’) that crops up fairly regularly requires the participants to convey the title of a book, film, or television programme using only emojis.
I am completely hopeless at this. The only two things it has taught me are that (a) I am not much of a lateral thinker and that (b) there are really rather a lot of these emoji thingies about. Oh, and that (c) ‘Where Is Kazakhstan?’ is a much superior round.
My general ignorance when it comes to emojis hasn’t stopped me using them myself. Being something of a technophile, I am quite well equipped with up-to-date hand-held communication devices and their potential uses, and I quite often deploy emojis in text and Whatsapp messages.
However, as I tend only to communicate with close family through these channels, by and large I stick to a small range of hearts and hugs, with the occasional thumbs up thrown in for the sake of variety. Very rarely do I scroll right to look at all the other emojis that are available. Well, there wouldn’t be much point would there, given that I almost certainly wouldn’t know what they mean anyway?
Doing a Google search as ‘research’ for this post, I came across a headline that read ‘Discover the 122 new emojis for 2022’. 122? I didn’t know there were that many altogether.
It pays to be careful about such matters. In the days before emojis, I would often end a text message to a family member with ‘lol’, not realising that at some point its meaning had transitioned from what I still thought of as ‘lots of love’ to ‘laughing out loud’. I mean, nobody told me, FFS.
In this sense, emojis are certainly less prone to misinterpretation than acronyms. Although I do worry that at some point a beating heart emoji will stop meaning something romantic and instead convey an Aztec priest making a human sacrifice.
All in all, I think I’ll just stay in character and keep it simple.