Are emojis the new heiroglyphics? They seem to be taking over communication everywhere, even on cupcakes. What’s next? Tax returns? If emojis are to be this prolific, then we need to find a better way of using them. They don’t always mean what you think.
Platform is a fancy word for who is doing the talking? Apple, Microsoft and even Google are different platforms that use or allow emojis. The problem here is each one interprets the same info differently. When crossing platforms like sending a text from your iPhone to your Facebook account, what you send changes to what is received. What is sent is basically binary ones and zeroes saying something like ‘smiley face’. The platform has a ready made smiley face to call up and be used. But what Facebook interprets as a smiley face is different than your iPhone. Sometimes, that difference can mean quite a change. Just look at Mozilla and Facebook. Mozilla has a very happy smiley face where Facebook makes you wonder how much pain the emoji is in. Check it out.
Emojis are actually very helpful when it comes to imparting the full meaning. The written word is notorious for coming up short on nuances. Just notice how hard sarcasm is to impart in your text. Humor also does not translate well. Misunderstandings abound. Emojis do a very good job of adding that extra special meaning that we see in normal face to face conversation. But, how hard will that be when a smiley face can either mean a very happy person to someone having hemorrhoids?
Making it even more complicated are the outdated platforms that seem to work just days ago. Software is constantly being updated even as we speak. Changes make yesterday’s device unmanageable. Now, if you text to a device that is considered out of date, you might be sending blank spaces because the old platform can’t understand what you are saying.
Another complication is transferring meaning from country to country. Today, the world is becoming more and more in touch because translators interpret from one language to another like they were in a Star Trek show with a universal translator. But I bet Kirk or Picard didn’t have the problem we face here on our single little planet. If your country sends me an emoji my country doesn’t understand, I will get a two character country code in a box replacing what you are trying to tell me. This doesn’t even cover the problem of the simple definition. For example, here in the USA, nodding our head means yes and shaking it means no. In Bulgaria, it is the exact opposite where they nod ‘no’ and shake ‘yes’.
Worse yet, it can shut down the world. The latest version of a cellular phone actually shuts down when you try to send an emoji. Luckily this is solved by just resetting your phone but still. This is something no James Bond villain ever thought of. Controlling the world through emojis that shut down communication. Soon, we will be seeing little yellow Minions everywhere.