Are emojis changing the way we communicate?


Emojis in text messages receive widespread love… for the most part

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A smiley face with sunglasses, a cat with heart eyes, a thumbs-up sign, a roasted sweet potato, a face with tears of joy? Yes, all of these symbols, also known as emojis (or “picture characters”), have become important parts of daily conversations, changing how we communicate.

Shigetaka Kurita created emojis in 1999 not knowing the popularity and importance they would one day hold. When Apple released the first official emoji keyboard on iOS 5 over ten years later, however, the trend of emojis rose astronomically.

In text messages, where the meaning behind what is said can often be misinterpreted, emojis help us express ourselves.

Elspeth Cameron, however, sits on the other side of the fence when it comes to using emojis. As a retired university English professor and author of seven books, Cameron “never uses emojis because she thinks they are replacing the use of words.”

While not everybody shares the widespread love of emojis, Travis Montaque told CBC News that “emojis are giving [people] a faster way to convey powerful thoughts,” providing clarity in conversations.

Cameron sees emojis succeeding only because they follow the trend of our exceedingly fast-paced environment. She would rather people savour the moment by expressing their thoughts and feelings in words.

Are emojis really killing the English language? We think not. Emojis are simply expanding and extending how we communicate. Sometimes, expressing ourselves through emojis may just be more fun than using words.

by Ashley Posluns

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