The Rise of Emojis


It started with LOL. 

I remember being in AIM chats and seeing it spring up like a weed, everywhere you looked.

What did it mean... to “LOL" ?

The beauty of a trend is how awkward it is for new users. It’s like Rock and Roll. At first it needs to piss some people off or confuse them. “Snap..What?"

Like when parents that thought LOL meant lots of Love? Heck I thought it was the sound of lollll like an eye roll.

So, years ago, there was a time when “LOL" meant you were literate in a certain in crowd. 

This was when the trends would creep in slowly instead of exploding through our society and then burning out from their heat, the way that fidget spinners have. 

But fidget spinners were a semi-fluke. 

Whereas Emojis have been baking in the oven for awhile. These are a response to our communication becoming digital. 

Did you know that face to face communication is no longer the dominant form of communication? 
It's 3rd in the list. THINK ABOUT THAT. 

This wave started again like code between you and your friends, and in some ways it continues that way. Like how I have certain emojis I use with certain friends that mean nothing what you think they would mean. Firing off emojis at random sometimes just because you have nothing else to say. Sorta “hey I hear you, so here’s a dice emoji with a wave and two dancing girls."

There’s actually a commission (The Unicode Consortium) that decides on which emojis we get to use. Just like words that make it into the dictionary, for this to work well there needs to be some standards. But then again the same commission totally missed it on including race into the conversation. Also it’s worth noting that Emoji’s started in Japan, not in the U.S.

Emojis seem to be destined into existence.

You’ve got cave drawings, then language, then text, then the telephone, then Digital text communication, and now “emoticons” and images or video.

The distribution system for a new function for our communication are always a breeze. Like email, right when they start to get sent out and others start to see and wonder what it’s about they are guaranteed to take off. They’ve crept so far into societies minds that they get their own movie. 

We’ve learned to talk, and we’ve learned to write, but we’re only now learning to write at the speed of talking (i.e., text), sending messages over vast expanses, absent any physical contextual clues. If you are talking to someone face-to-face, you don’t need an additional word or symbol to express “I’m smiling” because you would, presumably, be smiling. Tyler Schnoebelen

So where does that leave us? 

We’re in the second phase of digital communication. 

We’re still trying to sort out how one can express emotion through bits. Thousands of years of evolution have built incredible nuance to body language and emotion when having a dialogue. So we're lacking sophistication in this arena. 

You see LOL was just the beginning. 
The emoji has taken a us a step farther. 
Chapter three is on it’s way.  

Today the Emoji reigns. 👑

But it aint here to stay.


Unicode Consortium.

White people don't use white emojis.

Rapid Evolution of a Wordless Tongue