It may be hard to believe that emojis now feature in nearly 50% of all Instagram posts. Not only are they commonplace across virtually all platforms of social media, but we now have a day in the calendar devoted to these beloved ideograms. If you don’t know your winking face from your aubergine, don’t worry. Using emojis socially or even professionally is easy, as long as you know your audience.
WHERE DID EMOJIS BEGIN?
Where did the phenomenon of emojis begin and why have they become so integral to how we communicate? Strictly speaking, man has been using symbols and drawings to communicate for centuries. That was until language, both spoken and written, evolved and developed into what we use today. Does this mean we are now regressing to a simplified means of communication? “A picture paints a thousand words” is an expression many of us have heard. Emojis can do just that—convey an emotion or thought without the need for words. They can also be great at providing context. The written word can be interpreted in many ways. A potentially negative comment, for instance, can be assigned positive connotations with the help of a smiley face emoji. How less intimidating would “I’ll see you tonight, we need to talk” be perceived if it was followed by a winky face, dancing lady in red, and thumbs-up emoji?
SAVE THE DATE
World Emoji Day is upon us; the 17th of July is the date you need to save. The original “smiley” emoji was trademarked back in 1972, but not on the 17th of July. The reason behind this particular date is thanks to Apple. July 17, 2002 marks the day Apple introduced their iCalendar app, alongside a full suite of emojis for use. Through the power of influence of Emojipedia founder Jeremy Burgess, the first World Emoji Day was stamped into history in 2014. Google has even adapted their icon for their calendar app to display July 17th, a decision mimicking that of Apple. It isn’t just tech companies getting involved; our love for emojis continues to spread, with many popular news outlets embracing the 17th of July. Some have even suggested that their audience use only emojis to communicate on this day.
EMOJIS ARE HERE TO STAY
No matter your standpoint, emojis are here to stay. From their humble beginnings in 1972 to the estimated 203 million in revenue now generated annually, there appears to be no stopping their rise. As each aspect of our daily lives becomes further integrated with social media platforms, a change primarily driven by the use of mobile devices, it seems inevitable that the use of emojis will continue to rise.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO CELEBRATE?
You know the date, and you know the history—all that remains is to celebrate. Not sure how you can take part? The following are just a few ways you can embrace World Emoji Day.
- Hold an emoji party! The only requirement? Everyone has to come dressed as their favourite emoji.
- Include #WorldEmojiDay in all your tweets on July 17th. This way, everyone will know!
- Communicate using only emojis. Late for work or out on a first date? Try using just emojis to tell your story.