History repeats itself.
If you've taken ANY history class at all, you learn that quickly. So when I read the news about the 'tears of joy' emoji (or as I like to think of it, the LOL emoji) being named as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries I had to 😂😂😂
I find it odd and wonderful that pictograms are back, in such a big way.
Back when humans were a young species, before the written word, we had cave paintings like those found in the French cave of Lascaux and a bit further south lived the iconic hieroglyphics of ancient Egypt. Pictures told the stories of the human experience.
I use emojis on the REGULAR as punctuation and in conjunction with words via text and social media. It is as if these little emojis express something that words simply cannot.
I think people love them because they are easy to use, cute, and provide a good visual break among a TL;DR amount of words. I also believe that it reconnects us to part of our human experience that our modern selves haven't used in a long time (emoticons, aside).
Yes, emojis can seem lazy or as just a fad of modern technology but I find it interesting that it pulls us back to the oldest form or record keeping and human expression. I'm not saying that we should abandon words again and only write documents in emojis. HOWEVER! Wouldn't you love to see the iTunes terms and conditions form written in little faces and food pictures? Sounds brilliant to me.
On a slightly more serious note on this silly topic, I find the combination of pictures and words to be an indication to how people prefer visual, easy to digest communication in modern media consumption. I am seriously WAITING for a book or magazine to throw emojis in their body copy. Call that crazy all you want, it probably is, but there is something about that idea that thrills me! I believe it's because it fully embraces where we are today in culture and communication. Expect to see it! I have a feeling we will.
Something I also find interesting is that there is a distinct difference in interpretation of these 'picture characters' (the direct translation of the Japanese word 'Emoji'). Like I said earlier, my interpretation of this > 😂 was 'laughing out loud' instead of 'tears of joy'. Both translations work well depending on their context.
The embrace of emojis as a way to communicate takes me back to learning about the history of art and design. This is because emojis are becoming an artifact of our history—a design element, even. It all feels very full circle and that we are much closer to our ancestors than we think.
We don't really know what the Lascaux cave paintings were saying all those years ago. We can guess, we can even have very educated guesses! I imagine that 10,000 years from now emojis will be the same.