Emojis- the language of Instant messaging

Before starting i have a confession to make, number of my friends have said in the past that i am very poor in using emojis. Yes i know, it is rather ironic that i am the person to write this post.

Emoji may be considered by some to be the world’s newest written language, but in a sense they are more of a throwback to a kind of communication that predates most forms of writing: after all, conveying meaning via pictographic representation (emoji literally means ‘picture-character’) has been going on for much longer than via the series of symbols I’m using to communicate with you now. In ancient times people used to communicate with each other using pictograms. These pictograms had a huge advantage that they are universal and can be understood by anyone even by an archeologist in today’s world!!. These pictograms had also a major defect that they cannot express complexity of human thinking well enough. So logograms and phonograms emerged instead. Now in this age of instant messaging they again have become a crucial part in today’s text conversations .

I can remember when i first came across an emoji, it was rather basic emotions like :), 😦 and  ❤ used in cellular text conversations. Emojis are different from emoticons. While an emoticon denotes your emotional state eg:😊, an emoji can have a complete meaning and thought behind the picture eg:🍏. Both emoji and emoticons are used to add emotional nuance and context to text-based communication. Take the case of one of my fb status,

“Even if Hashim amla breaks all of Virat Kohli’s record he would still never be recognised by the cricketing world”. Now by using an emoticon,

” Even if Hashim amla breaks all of Virat Kohli’s record he would still never be recognised by the cricketing world😔”.

We can clearly see that emojis add some emotional nuance to the text based message, in this case my sadness over that issue. It is true that one cannot translate real expression and feelings exactly into an text message. One must rather be in physical presence to exprience it fully. But with the rise of technology and social networking, Instant messaging has become one of the most common ways to stay in touch with friends and family. Emojis help us a lot to translate our feelings so that we feel lively and exciting during that conversation without them the conversation rather feels dull and lifeless.

Emojis have now become a part of everyone’s culture that now emojis have now racial differentiation and their number of representations keeps growing. A study by SwiftKey keyboard app find out that usage  of emojis vary based on cultures. For eg: Australians use twice as many alcohol-related emoji as the average, while French speakers use heart emoji four times more than the average.

Emoji are both easy to integrate into any language, and they level the linguistic playing field since no one uses them as a native language. The main challenge is locking down a base set of definitions that everyone can agree on, and although a rudimentary grammar of emoji seems to be developing, it’s as liable to change based on the interpreter’s culture and mood. While emoji seem to be more flexible in terms of usage, being more easily integrated with text, evolving based on user input (albeit slowly) and available on multiple platforms, only time will tell whether or not they retain their role in online communications. Since more versatile form of representation is growing in the firm of stickers and GIF.

Although my emoji use is still embarrassing enough to make anyone 😳, I’ll definitely be 🙏 ➡ 📓.

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