What is the Story Behind the Emojis?

What is the Story Behind the Emojis?
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The Story Behind the Emojis

Emojis are everywhere in our modern world. They are used in almost all digital communication which has become even more of a daily practice than the spoken word. They have become such a huge part of our lives that emojis have even taken over good, old, bingo. That’s right, emoji bingo games exist.

Emojis have even become a part of our business conversations, marketing, and networking. They have been proven to create closer and more intimate relationships, as well as increase the know, like, and trust factors of a relationship. Skyrocketing sales for less effort than face-to-face meetings.

Emojis are often used to convey emotional facial expressions through pictures: smiley face emoji, excited face emoji, sad face emoji, the list goes on; but our emojis don’t stop there. Emojis have grown to include depictions of animals, food, party decor, and so much more.

Emojis in digital communication

Our digital communities have created fun ways of putting together clever figures of speech using emojis and emojis have also become code words. The peach emoji, for example, the peach emoji very rarely means the actual fruit peach.

Pictograms have been a part of human history since humans began communicating. We have the ancient Egyptians who used hieroglyphics to record their stories, beliefs, and history. The world wouldn’t be where it is without them.

Can you imagine if some clever ancient Egyptians never got around to their favorite hobby of mural storytelling? Thanks to them we have records that overcame the progression of time. These records have become a massive part of our history and our modern society has reaped many rewards from understanding these pictures.

Emojis, as we know them today, were first spotted in ’90s chatrooms. Instant messaging and threads were slowly making their debut and snarky tech geeks needed to find a way to relay tone, sarcasm, and emotional expression through digital messages. It also became a necessity because the older instant messaging programs only had enough space for a particular amount of characters (think Twitter). The early emojis (known as emoticons) began as clever combinations of punctuation marks arranged to look like faces. For example: 😉 or 😀

Emojis in digital communication

The history of Emojis

In 1999, Shigetaka Kurita, from NTT DOCOMO – a Japanese cell tech company, decided these boring, monochrome emojis needed a bedazzling. Thus, the birth of the first emoji library. The emoji library included 176 state-of-the-art emoji designs that were released to cell phones and pagers alike.

The actual word “emoji” is also Japanese. If you break the Japanese word ’emoji’ up into two parts it makes more sense. “E” means picture and “Moji” means letter.

Now, more than 3000 different emojis exist and, as the global culture grows and expands, more and more emojis are being added to the large emoji database. Take a few moments to really look at and appreciate the emoji gallery when you open up your text messages on your phone. If you’d like to see this incredible emoji database for yourself, have a look at the Museum of Modern Art.

The modern world

Emojis surpass the boundaries of language and culture. You know the saying, “If it looks like a bird, sounds like bird, and poops like a bird, it’s probably a bird?” Well, it’s the same with emojis. I recognize the chicken emoji as a chicken and so does another person on the other side of the world. Our children’s children will also recognize the chicken emoji. Everyone will recognize the chicken emoji, even if we speak different languages, come from different time periods, and participate in different cultures.

The modern world

Our modern society and the generations that will come after us have been blessed with technological innovations, like emojis, which we often overlook. In the future, the human race will look back on our current emojis and be able to study just how far civilization has come, how deep our roots go, and what are important topics and themes we can learn from.

Emojis are an important part of how art, culture, communication, and technology have developed from ancient times through to the future. We should be excited to witness the growth of digital art. We should be studying how digital art and communication deeply affect human emotion and our societal structures.

Grab your emoji bingo games and celebrate. Our society has come so far in a fairly short time period and it’s an honor to be a part of the future of humanity.

What is the Difference between Emojis and Emoticons?

The emoticon is the older of the two. In general, emoticons are used to create pictorial icons that display emotion or sentiment. They are made of punctuation marks, letters, and numbers. Since our keyboards are limited, most emoticons must be read sideways. That’s why the word “emoticon” comes from an emotional icon.

At Carnegie Mellon University in 1982, a joke gone wrong led to the creation of the emoticon.

In the 1990s, a joke on a message board about a fake mercury spill threw the university into a tizz, and because of this confusion, Dr. Scott E. Fahlman suggested the use of two sets of characters called emoticons that mark jokes and nonjokes: the smiley face 🙂 and the frowning face :-(. These became popular among Internet users soon afterward.

It is only relatively recently that emoji (from the Japanese e, “picture,” and moji, “character”) became popular. The emoji are pictographs depicting objects, faces, and symbols and are not to be confused with their predecessor. Apple’s emojis have a distinctive style: cartoon faces with a variety of expressions and symbols such as families, buildings, animals, and food.

Some people on chat groups and platforms like telegram will often post a gif as a form of emoji, even though it is not true emoji as such.

Thank you for reading!

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