Emojis Spur Ancient Language Practices
May 12, 2015
Emojis, different from their cousin emoticons, are a standard in Internet jargon and are still resisted by most who grew up in a world sans instant connection. Mike Isaac, who writes the New York Times Bits blog, tried his best to resist the urge to use a colon and parentheses to express his mood. Isaac’s post “The Rise Of Emoji On Instagram Is Causing Language Repercussions” discusses the rise of the emoji language.
Emojis are quickly replacing English abbreviations, such as LOL and TTYL. People are finding it easier to select a smiley face picture over having to type text. Isaac points to how social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat users are relying more on these pictograms for communication. Instagram’s Thomas Dimson mentioned we are watching the rise of a new language.
People string emojis together to form complete sentences and sentiments. Snapchat and Instagram rely on pictures as their main content, which in turn serves as communication.
“Instagram itself is a means of expression that does not require the use of words. The app’s meteoric rise has largely been attributed to the power of images, the ease that comes, for instance, in looking at a photo of a sunset rather than reading a description of one. Other companies, like Snapchat, have also risen to fame and popularity through the expressive power of images.”
Facebook and Twitter are pushing more images and videos on their own platforms. It is a rudimentary form of communication, but it harkens back to the days of cave paintings. People are drawn to images, because they are easy to interpret from their basic meaning and they do not have a language barrier. A picture of a dog is still the same in Spanish or English. The only problem from using emojis is actually understanding the meaning behind them. A smiley face is easy to interpret, but a dolphin, baseball glove, and maple leaf might need some words for clarification.
Isaac finishes that one of the reasons he resisted emojis so much was that it made him feel childish, so he reserved them for his close friends and family. The term “childish” is subjective, just like the meaning of emojis, so as they become more widely adopted it will become more accepted.
Whitney Grace, May 12, 2015