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The art of Emoji8/24/2016
The Oxford Dictionary word of 2015 is an emoji. 😂 specifically. Face With Tears of Joy. It is the most used emoji, and the most used "word" of 2015.
The emotion it relays? Joy.
Most people in 2016 get their headlines from whatever social media platform suits them best. Twitter revolutionized this with bite-sized bits of news. It offered a new method to stay up to speed on all current events, in an accessible, easy, and timely way. 😂 was the most tweeted "word" of 2015. With all the chaos and sadness the daily headlines seem to bring, the dominant emotion on Twitter is, from this vantage point - joy.
The oft-cited (and oft-criticized) psychologist Albert Mehrabian determined in the 1950s that only 7 percent of communication is verbal (what we say), while 38 percent is vocal (how we say it) and 55 percent is nonverbal (what we do and how we look while we’re saying it).
When we're texting text we only are using 7% of our communicative capacity. By adding emojis we are able to bring that additional 93% by creating tone and image to an otherwise hard and dry form of communication.
The word most frequently used to describe the caliber of emoji is "soften" (a personal favorite word of mine)
In a public speaking class, I learned a valuable tool.
People don't remember what you say they remember how you made them feel.
Emoji use has created a global lexicon in which all people can communicate, with practice. During my time in Asia, I was able to order food, find hospitals, and connect with a whole new range of people through this common, and funny, visual language.
Emoji offers a new way for many people to connect on an emotional level. When you explain something in only emojis, whether it's translating Moby Dick (Emoji Dick) or Beyonce songs into this format, we are essentially erasing the 7% and allowed to communicate
by tangible, relatable objects and emotions only.
When you are speaking only in feelings, you become more aware at how okay it is to have feelings, and that others might feel the way that you feel. Memes have been doing this as a driver for social change for a long time.
In the first months after losing my partner, there was such an amazing outpouring of care and attention. My friends were there around the clock for me, asking me how I was. It had become too hard for me to verbalize what I was going through accurately. There was an emoji, however. I used it daily.
Emoji is a Japanese word. "E" - picture "moji"- character . Just like a text that's all text, the etymology itself is hard and dry. But what a beautiful coincidence that it sounds a safe and techy way to say what we all can be so afraid to admit we have, emotions.