When Japanese creator Shigetaka Kurita designed the world’s first ever emoji in 1999 little did he know that emojis would take over millennial conversations decades later. When the world was just waking up to the convenience of mobile phones and twiddling with flip phones, the Japanese were way ahead and busy creating a whole new conversation based on pictures. Beginning with pagers featuring smiley faces, they soon appeared in phones in ’90s. The word ‘emoji’ meaning e picture and moji – character is also their gift.
So ingrained are these simple emojis in our life, that when we feel lazy to type out our feelings, the smiley faces, blowing kisses, eggplants, winking face do the job for us. If getting monosyllabic replies infuriated you, emojis are at a whole different level. People who use them religiously will tell you it’s a whole language on its own.
Type ‘Black Lives Matter’ on your iPhone, you are sure to get a fist emoji, if you are disgusted, a green-coloured puking emoji appears, blowing kiss emoji suffices to tell the receiver your exact feelings. Emojis have the power to convey sentiments we may not want to put in words and also effectively put a full-stop to a boring conversation. Sometimes, an entire conversation can be made up of emojis, leaving the hapless receiver scratching his/her head over the meaning of the sender’s message.
Marketers have also realised their potential and actually created a whole day out of them. July 17 is celebrated across the globe as World Emoji Day. And there is no significance to the date; it just happened to be the one Emojipedia founder Jeremy Burge saw on Apple’s calendar emoji.
Every year, hundreds of new additions find their way into the emoji bank. Animals, celeb emojis (we are looking at the Kardashian fam), activities, and now Pride symbols. Naysayers may be of the opinion that it’s actually killing the beauty of having a heart-to-heart interaction between people, but try telling that to the impatient millennial population with the attention span of three-year-olds. When an emoji can get across all sorts of meanings in one tap, why bother writing.
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