I fear for mankind. Not so much because of illiterate world leaders or those frightful people who vote them into office. Not so much for disease or greed or artificial intelligence or robot overlords.
No, I fear for mankind’s future because emoji. Instead of using words to form sentences and sentences to form paragraphs so we may more accurately communicate with other human beings, we have emoji. Yes, they’re cute. Yes, they’re expressive. Yes, they’re everywhere. Too bad.
Just in case you didn’t get the memo or check Apple’s official Newsroom, our favorite Mac and iPhone maker decided to celebrate World Emoji Day with a few dozen more emoji characters which will show up in iPhone, iPad, Watch, and Mac later in 2018.
You’ve been waiting for these, right?
That’s just a sample of the new emoji to expect from Apple but there are more. Too many more.
The new emoji designs, created based on approved characters in Unicode 11.0, include even more hair options to better represent people with red hair, gray hair and curly hair, a new emoji for bald people, and new smiley faces that bring more expression to Messages with a cold face, party face, pleading face and a face with hearts.
The problem with more than a dozen emoji is knowing what words the emoji represent, and now we have racially diverse emoji with options to change hair color, hair styles (or, lack of hair), facial expressions, and more.
Wait. There’s more.
Joining the growing list of animals represented on the emoji keyboard are beautifully designed characters for the kangaroo, peacock, parrot and lobster, with the addition of new food emoji for mango, lettuce, cupcake, moon cake and other popular items.
Is not anyone besides yours truly willing to ask the question, “Why?”
Why do we need so many emoji? Do more emoji help us to communicate more accurately? Alright, sure, the Poop emoji has a place in the standard human lexicon. But the one-finger salute isn’t exactly universal, you know?
Thousands of emoji are currently available on iOS, watchOS and macOS, including emotive smiley faces, gender-neutral characters, various clothing options, food types, animals, mythical creatures and more.
And we’re getting more emoji?
I can understand a dozen or so emoji characters that help to communicate a few basic ideas, but what good is a lobster emoji? Or, a peacock emoji? Cold or freezing face? Yes. Lettuce? No.
Are we not creating a generation of digital cave dwellers who huddle over the light of their smartphones and send undecipherable emoji sentences to compatriots sitting next to them? How is that different than cave dwellers from thousands of years ago who etched similar drawings onto the walls of the cave habitats by the light of a torch?
Some emoji are obvious as to usage, but most of the thousand or so already available are not. Honestly. Why isn’t there an emoji dictionary app for these things? Or, at least a name under each one so we know what the icons mean so we can string them together appropriately.
What about emoji verbs?
And why is World Emoji Day on July 17th? Because emoji.
July 17 is the one date that is shown in its own emoji. Famously displayed in the 📅 Calendar Emoji, this makes July 17 the perfect date for 🌏 World Emoji Day.