You also saw that with SMS before. In spoken language we break down words (omg, idd and emoticons ;-)) or we only respond with an expression (smile, frown) or we shrug our shoulders. Emojis fill the gap of this non-verbal communication – you don’t see each other – online. They also allow us to add extra meaning to our existing communication and express our emotions in a simple way. Emjois act as the hand gestures and facial expressions, non-verbal communication we normally see each other do, but which are missing from digital interactions.
Still, emoji’s widespread use is largely due to the fact that it’s visual, non-verbal communication. Emojis are universally understood. Although of course it remains a challenge; understanding each other’s emojis properly. Especially now that the number is only growing, not everyone interprets every emoji in the same way. This results in miscommunication, confusion and often funny situations.
As with language, the meaning of emojis is often bas on (cultural) agreements. These can differ per country, (sub)culture, per generation or even per person. They can also change over time. In her book, Lilian Stolk describes how visual language has always struggl with ambiguity. How you interpret an image is bas on your experience. For example, Americans us tto refer to Burger King, while Japanese us it for bakkukeru; evading your responsibilities. The BK has since been replac by a dollar sign. Closer to home: By app, I ask my 12-year-old niece which emoji she us most with her friends. It was this [“Nice weather”, I said, or “chill time”? No. “Gangster,” she replied.
That ambiguity is a limitation but certainly also the power of the emoji. An emoji can thus outgrow its original meaning ] and become the bearer of new meanings. In the US, for example, the glass of milk ], the frog  and the ok hand emoji  were claimed by the American alt right movement (they even later claimed Taylor Swift , but that’s another story). The endangered polar bear emoji [ has become a symbol of the climate crisis.
Do you want to know the original meaning as it was once recorded by the Consortium? Then Emojipedia again offers a solution. Incidentally, where the Consortium falls short, the creativity Payroll Directors Email Lists of users often comes to the rescue. For example, activities are often difficult to capture in emojis, but almost everyone in the world knows very well what this means:
One conclusion can be drawn: the last edition of World Emoji Day has not yet been celebrated. What once star as a smiling yellow boost has grown into a worldwide popular, belov, but also functional visual language in our online communication. It gives us the opportunity to communicate emotions in a simple way, to nuance messages and to be creative. And there is good news in that regard. The set of emojis at our disposal will only grow in the coming years. Are you already looking forward to next fall’s maracas?
Which brings us back to the Unicode Consortium. The consortium that deals with ‘our’ emojis. To understan