– Babe, what would you do without the emojis?
– I would have to use words. And you know I’m no good at them.
This right there sparked the inspiration for this article. I love the emojis. They are cute, they are convenient, they play a huge part in my daily conversations. They basically became a full-blown language. A well-thought combo can remplace whole sentences and very innocent fruits and veggies can take a whole new meaning after midnight. They make me save time, and sometimes even potentially awkward talks. I get all that, and I use them every hour without even being aware of it anymore.
But once in a while, when I gather all my courage to tell a special someone how I feel and I get nothing but a surprised face and a monkey covering its eyes as an answer – I swear I wish they never existed.
I am not going to remind you of a time when humans didn’t have smart devices glued to their hands and actually had to talk to one another face-to-face as we all over-heard this old speech and our era is awesome for a million good reasons. But I will share that we are currently experiencing a shift in our human consciousness – I feel and see it everywhere – we crave honesty and vulnerability more than ever.
Yet, I see us all hiding behind emojis when words require a bit more risk, or even just a bit more thought.
We all know the signification of every symbol on our emoji keyboard and it is true that they surmount any language barrier, but the use of words will always make our intention clearer and our communications better. Always.
I recently posted this photo of myself in my Instagram stories to promote this article :
Minutes later, a few DMs popped up and all I saw were emojis – water drops, fire, shocked little yellow faces… You know which ones. So I spontaneously conducted a little test and replied to them with : Hiiii! What are these supposed to mean exactlyyy? (the addition of letters softens every message don’t you think?).
The answers were all the same : “Oh you know what I mean…” Plus more emojis.
I was not trying to boost my self-esteem with compliments. I was trying to incite people to formulate their thoughts into words and have the audacity (strong word…) to tell me what they actually thought of this photo. If these small pictures of animals and elements were meant to flirt with me – even just for one brief instant – it was a poor strategy to use. All I got from them was laziness and a lack of eloquence.
Here are my thoughts – If we now have symbols to communicate our feelings through the shield of a phone, how are we supposed to later open up in our real-life relationships with ease and confidence? Conversing about love, heartbreak, sex and everything in between already put us in a vulnerable position. Truth is, it could get even harder if we keep choosing picture-characters over words to transmute our ideas, opinions, concerns.
Maybe we could try this for a week – each time we feel like switching to the emojis keyboard to communicate how we feel about a situation or a person, let’s challenge ourselves to stick to letters only. It could possibly get super uncomfortable, but it could also take a relationship to a whole new level, deepen a connection to a lover or a friend, or speed up the process of getting to know someone new. Who knows what we hide behind our smiley faces and yellow hearts? What if words were the secret door to our real-life hearts and smiles?
I would love to know your thoughts on this. Say it with words and slide into my DMs!