News Dec 30th 2015

How Emojis help us realize our true moods

Depending on your age, you may have different feelings about texting and text language. If you are old enough to remember the old mobile phone game "Snake," then you probably used text language and emojis to save on character count on your texts. If you are a little younger, you probably use emojis to save time. After all, why write, "I found that very pleasing and am happy you sent it," when you could ever write "LOL" or add a smiley face emoji.

We Wanted Them

Emojis are so popular and so well used, that absent emojis used to be a big problem. For example, the years people went without an eye-rolling emoji were troubling because so many people wanted a way to express how irked they were without it appearing as if they were angry or upset with the original sender.

Texting is a blessing and a curse. It is horrible to think that you may be on a date whilst your date is texting his/her friend saying how awful you are. There are also the ignorant sods that keep texting other people and checking their phone when they are with you, which is usually a good reason to cut that person out of your life.

Where Did it All Begin?

It all started with smiley and frowny faces. They evolved into teary eyes and happy faces. They became known as emoticons, and they expressed how a person felt about something in simple terms. Here are a few examples.

:) Happy
:D Very Happy
:( Sad
:[ Disappointed
:'( Crying
:S Confused

Smileys and emoticons then became emojis. These are graphical interpretations of emoticons. They are images that show the expressions the users were trying to convey when using simplistic punctuation and such. They arose because many online and mobile chat and texting software allows their addition. For many years, we have been able to choose from lists and menus full of emojis. They are now able to be hot-keyed so they may be inserted faster, and/or there are functions where you may add in emojis by typing in the commonly associated punctuation. For example, if you were to type in the symbols for a happy face, then a graphical emoji would automatically take its place on your text/message.

Compatibility Problems Still Exist?

Some emojis are not compatible with other devices. For example, there are times when a message will show a bunch of white space or weird symbols because your device doesn't understand the coding used to create the emojis sent from other devices. This is less common these days as most desktop devices and mobile phones have the coding needed to understand and interpret a wide range of emojis. However, you still get newly created or custom emojis that your or your recipient's device cannot interpret.

Embarrassing Problems May Still Arise

There are also a few times when emojis you send differ from your original intention. One great example is the interpretation of the confused emoji :S

Some people type that into their device, and a confused face may appear. They send it with a message claiming they are confused, but some phones may interpret that emoticon as a nervous emoji. Worse still, it is sometimes used to show you feel a little queasy. As a result, you may send a message saying you are confused with a confused emoji, but the recipient receives a message saying you are confused with a queasy emoji on it.

How Are You Really Feeling?

One question that still remains is how emotionally intact are we when sending emotionally filled messages with emojis? They are a fast-track way that allows us to show emotions on messages, but they are also nice ways for people to hide their feelings. A person may reply to a message with the words "I'm fine", and it may be interpreted as them not being fine at all. Whereas if that person sends the "I'm fine" message along with a very happy emoji, then the recipient may incorrectly believe that the sender is fine when he or she isn't.

In addition, text language and emojis are used so often now that they have their own culture. For example, most people interpret "LOL" as "I get it" or "Nice one" rather than the literal interpretation that they are "Laughing Out Loud." The language has also permeated real-life encounters, where people may say "LOL" after a joke instead of laughing or saying something such as "very funny."

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