Modern life is (confused face symbol)

3년 전

I was on the Steemit Bloggers Discord page and we were discussing emoticons. Well, I say “we”, but really it was me rambling on about them like the nutter on the bus that no-one wants to make eye-contact with. And I say “emoticons”, but that’s because I am nearly fifty and I am not keeping up with stuff like this. I was actually discussing emojis.



I would like to say, in my defence, I have had manflu for five days and have not left the house. It is possible I have gone a little stir crazy. I was discussing this very point with the fridge only this morning, and we both agreed it was probably true.

I am not very keen on emojis. We have this tried and tested way of communicating called “words”, and these have served us well for several millennia. Text speak was bad enough. And confusing, too. Many people have mistaken “LOL” for “lots of love”, and then used it to respond to the news of a bereavement. Which is really funny, admittedly, but shows how confusing new ways of conversing can be.

The first use of an emoticon (using keyboard grammar symbols to convey basic emotions like :) for instance) goes back to 1972, although it has been suggested Abe Lincoln may have been linked to the very first usage back in 1862! He really was a man ahead of his time.


They started to become popular in the late 90s as mobile phones became commonplace, but in the last ten years or so, the battle to communicate using symbols has been won by the emoji. 

Emojis are a Japanese invention, started in 1990 by a designer called Shigetaka Kurita, and were used solely by Japanese people until the late noughties. The first iPhone, in 2007, had a hidden keyboard of emojis to appeal to the Japanese market, but was soon discovered by Western users, and from there has grown to be a global phenomenon.  

Nowadays, there is a veritable smorgasbord of picture-based communications options. I would imagine that it is possible to have an entire conversation without words.  

Why would you want to, though? 

I am more than aware I am showing my age here, but I wonder if this is a symptom of how technology is taking us somewhere that we perhaps shouldn’t be going. I have seen people announce a bereavement on Facebook (don’t get me started on this!), only to see people respond with a crying face symbol.




That is a bullshit response. It’s a way of avoiding finding the appropriate words to respond to a sad event. It’s lazy, disrespectful and dismissive. What you need to be doing here is expressing your sorrow for the passing of a loved one, and offering your emotional support and help at such a difficult time. Not posting a cartoon picture of a face crying. 

That, of course, is just my opinion. You might disagree. It’s not my place to impose my reality on you, but it just seems to me that emojis have a time and a place, and expressing sadness at the death of a loved one via the medium of pixels and a mouse click lacks basic respect. 

Apologies. I got all serious and have outed myself as a grumpy old(ish) man. 

The 2018 list of emoji symbols is utterly bewildering. There are at least six facial symbols that involve tears. Six! I just asked my twelve year old daughter to explain all six, and even she floundered. She admitted to me that she constantly receives emoji responses that she doesn’t remotely understand, and I find myself wondering how many people every day get an emoji communique and think, well, WTF does that mean? 

It is not just the nuanced facial options that have me scratching my head. The list of picture symbols has become ridiculously comprehensive, including TWO options for pushpins, one with a flathead, the other with a round one. I think what has me so perplexed here is that the purveyors of emojis must have had a brainstorm at some point that led to the conclusion that what the World needs now is an emoji pushpin symbol choice of options. 

I realise I am probably overthinking this. 

Someone should make an emoji for that.



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How about this for an overthinking emoji?

And I call shenanigans on using your age as an excuse. I'm turning 53 this year, and I can emoji with best of the youngins. Turn your emoti-CON into emoti-CAN!

(and if you'd like a handy reference guide for Steemit compliant emotion cheats, check out this list - it's fairly comprehensive



I'll have you know I thoroughly enjoy my middle-aged grumpiness and have no intention of embracing the emoji!

Thanks for the list though. I suppose I may have to begrudgingly use one on occasion...

I won't be happy about it though.


Don't think of it as you embracing the emoji - instead, see the emoji as embracing you...

(and you're welcome for the list)

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Mat, like you, I am in my fifties and much prefer words. Whole words. However, in a world where things demand more and more immediate attention, and one is often forced to "friend"* how I hate some of these new verbs) people with whom one might, just might, have a passing acquaintance, I find that a teary emoji is quite useful. I can't express condolences where there really are none to express although I can feel empathy. An emoji (and like you I wasn't sure when an emoticon became an emoji, so happy for the elucidation) does the trick.

On the other hand, there are times when I use an emoji on a public platform and perhaps a few apt words and then I take the conversation into a more intimate space and where the words are whole and, I hope meaningful.

*and this is an entirely different discussion.... ;)


Thanks for your perspective, Fiona. It is always useful to see things through another's eyes.

I do have to begrudgingly admit that the odd emoji or two can be an effective and quick way to communicate. When you look at the myriad options available though, I have to say I wonder if this is a new language developing, and I wonder what its purpose might be.

Yes, to use the sad/teary symbol to a passing acquaintance might be appropriate, I can accept that, but I have seen it used by people who are far more than a passing acquaintance. I suppose that to me it is such a dismissive, superficial thing to do (in a certain context), and I find myself rallying against the superficial and disingenuous more and more as the years tick by. It is one of my bugbears.

I was trying to write a piece that was more funny than anything else! It appears I may have missed my mark!


Actually, the satirical side of things hadn't escaped me, but perhaps because just this morning, I decided to respond to a friend's Facebook post with a sad face and then private message her, it was a little close to home. I also can't stomach getting notified everytime someone else comments....and then I forget to turn off the comments... c'est la vie :D ;)


Ha. We are very similar, you and I.

It was my fault - I did get all serious halfway through the blog. I need to decide on what it is I am trying to say!

Huh, u are a pretty good writer.. i enjoyed the article.. i am going to be upvoting and boosting a few of ur post until i can help u get ur profile score back to where it was before we had our little issue..
I hold no hard feelings and hope u feel the same once things are fixed here..
Take care.

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