These Days, A Picture Is Worth At Least One Word

By Posted August 8th, 2014

160x3Every so often, something changes in technology that makes me feel like I’m older than I really am. I manage to stay on top of the latest apps and gadgets much to the chagrin of my family, but recently I have noticed how quickly online communication is changing.

Shortcuts and abbreviations have been part of online communication for a long time. We’ve had years to adjust to shorthand like LOL and BRB. But now it’s different. Communication has gone graphical. They’re called emojis and if you find yourself occasionally stumped by them, you’re not alone (and you’re probably not a teenager). I’ve come to the conclusion that my teenage daughter can communicate entirely in emojis if she needs to.

The term emoji is from the Japanese words for “picture” (e) and “character” (moji). Emojis didn’t appear overnight. They evolved over time, from computer symbols to so-called emoticons that were based on type characters like 🙂 for a smiling face. Emojis go one step further by allowing users to insert colorful icons that represent entire words or, in some cases, phrases.

The library of emojis continues to grow, too. Apple has promised new emojis, there are emoji converters online and there’s even www.emojipedia.org that is designed to help you figure out what those pesky graphics mean. Think of emojipedia as a parent-teenager translator.

While I briefly thought about writing this entire blog in emojis (and quickly thought better of it), others have begun to expand the use of emojis (or push the 160x, if you will). Someone recently published Emoji Dick, a complete retelling of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick written in – you guessed it – emojis.

So, climb aboard the emoji 160x1 and enjoy the ride before the 160x2 passes you by.