Pardon my Faces: Emoji era is upon us, you can’t stop it

Emoji is universalizing the thoughts of the world

Berto Gonzalez, Humor Editor, Puma Press

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Why is there so much distinction between a winking face and a winking face with a kiss blown? What kind of linguistic impact can two side-eye faces separated by a frown or a smirk really hold? Who really thinks typing four simple letters of a Mexican food staple is more exerting than a picture of said drool-worthy meat and salsa stuffed item of sustenance?

These are the distinctions of the emoji; the mostly yellow circles of illustration in your smartphone that have captivated the masses across a mere half-decade or so. Pictures are worth a thousand words says the ancient proverb, but in this day and age, one crying face can breed an entire encyclopedia of iterations and context in the English lexicon — simplistic yet transcendent, which means the dumbing down of our society will be uniformly swift.

I’m guilty of over winky-facing a text box time and time again. If you’re one of the chosen few, you might even have a kissy face with a wink thrown in to spice it up. It doesn’t mean I am unconcerned with what these little cartoons are going to do to our spoken word. Entire sentences are being filled with the yellow and now PR-friendly flesh-toned faces and caricatures. It’s almost a mockery of our intelligence that they are so effective in emitting meanings more exact than our alphabet could.

Emoji is universalizing the thoughts of the world. If they can truly simplify commonly used phrases and ideas into three pictures on a smartphone touchpad, then we have reached a breakthrough in terms of introducing a common trait amongst all creeds and races of the world.

As with anything that promises unity to the world and its people, there is a flaw.

What is the future of our keyboards? Our letters and punctuation? Our numbers? These convenient pictures in the captions of our hyper-filtered lunch plates on Instagram today will present themselves in the nuclear peace treaty negotiations of tomorrow. Rocket. Girl-with-crossed-arms. Thumb-up question mark. Ambassador? Red-angry frown. Thumb-down. Flame. Spark. Skull and crossbone. Dark hole. Three coffins in a row. Anarchy.

What is to stop the destruction of the concept of language? Awareness can and should be the answer. Emoji’s should never replace the alphabet and phonetic pronunciations in the form of type. Supplemental control is the key to ensuring the safety and preservation of our great gift of language and context.

So, the next time you’re expressing your disgust in a proposal for watching Netflix and “chilling,” stay away from the hospital mask smiley and angry frowny face. Just type, “Seriously, how do you keep finding this number?!” “Leave me alone you creep.” “I hope you enjoy the police cruiser I sent to your house!” Colon, right end of a parentheses. Language is love.

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Pardon my Faces: Emoji era is upon us, you can’t stop it