As the society gallops towards progress within the tracks of a closely knit world, evolution of ideas and thoughts are being heavily shaped by social media. Alongside sharing, liking and commenting, the emoticons too have been the best way of easy expression in the fast moving world.
As the world kept its baby steps towards progress, communication and its expected speed were among the key foundational aspects. Expressing and informing shifted from formal to informal mechanisms as people started using short forms. However, as communication was facilitated even in the farthest places, the expression became remote. As a result, emojis-emotion icons or emoticons developed that blocked the gaps, possible errors and misinterpretations in communication.
Now, emojis have become the go-to chatting tool that was not only used to demonstrate the real feeling, but also as a hotkey to escape, when one wanted to put a full stop to a conversation. It also became parts of sentences when one did not know clear indications of intentions. Nevertheless, it was assured that these virtual representations had already become a part and parcel in the era of the internet.
As it progressed to the greater cause of expression, over time, it actually gained attention and was developed to meet the requirements of the growing sapling of evolution. The world progressed, and so did the emoticons. Knowingly or unknowingly, it had become a distinct part and style of online communication. Therefore, tech-savvies and giants started innovating on it, to make these miniature substitutes of real faces, a representation of the realistic version of the world that we live in.
“In an era where everything is dependent on the fingers on our hands, how and what we type using emojis, have been a game-changer. That aside, in the 21st century as we are all opening ourselves up to a community promoting inclusivity and acceptance, I think we have a thing or two to learn from these emojis as they are seemingly more inclusive than policies of many countries and even more acceptable than most speeches of the powerful leaders of the world.”M. Vaibhav Nath, Govt. Law College, Thiruvananthapuram
The first among the adaptation was emojis that extended the representation of people from different races and colors. Putting an end to racial discrimination and colorism, this indeed was one of the best innovations of that time as people accepted its need and understood the “whys” and “hows” attached to it.
As the LGBTQ+ rights movement heightened and as they demanded representation and acceptance, a prompt response was materialized with the introduction of emojis of gay and lesbian couples. Apart from that, homosexual parenting was also normalized as multiple emojis were introduced with combinations of girl and boy child emojis to avoid any sort of discrimination or inequality.
Exterminating any sort of gender dysphoria was the recent development in the emoji world; involvement of the third gender or trans to eliminate any lack of inclusivity, as earlier, only cisgender representation was present. This was a remarkable change that was very much required as with immediate representation came much faster acceptance.
“As a cis-gendered person, speaking of inclusivity might not be the best thing to do , due to my privilege. But I can, for sure, speak for the ideals I stand for-Inclusivity and Acceptance being two among them. It was indeed a development that was demanded, has happened in due course and hence of much relevance than it intended.”Meenakshi Senan, Hindu College
The virtual expression of oneself has thus grown to ensure that each and everyone felt their representation and ‘accepted existence’ as the society was and is struggling to welcome the identities that conservatism never allowed them to. It is mesmerizing how such small parts of online speech form a building block towards a breakthrough from ignorance. Collective existence and harmony are now at our fingertips as, each time we brush past the emoji tabs and choose one, we also see, question, contemplate, and understand the notions that such seemingly negligible attributes uphold.
Also Read: The Dilemma of Choosing The Right Emoji
Feature Image Credits: Art & Objects