The Return of the Hieroglyphics in 2016

As the age of technology progresses and advances, the traditional manner in which we go about daily tasks are changing quite rapidly. These ‘changing ways’ of ours could refer to the Bluetooth technology we use to make hands-free phone calls while we’re driving, to using our iTunes or Spotify accounts to listen to specific podcasts instead of traditional radio. However it is way in which we communicate with one another online that seems to be changing the most.

A year ago I read an article that was assigned to us by our Digital Humanities lecturers, Donna, about emoticons. ‘Emojis’ as they’re famously called nowadays are used on almost all platforms of social media and instant messaging. Even though they are seen as insignificant and are predominantly used for fun in while online messaging, they are not something one would consider ‘revolutionary’. On the contrary, it has been proven that emojis are starting to alter the way we perceive electronic messages and posts on social media.

I have stated in an early blog post of mine, Emojis, they’re just a bit of fun about how a simple smiley face could change the whole meaning of something as small as a tweet. Although last year when we discussed the topic in class we talked about how emojis can be compared to the ancient hieroglyphics and how the concept of replacing certain words with images is not a ‘new’ development in modern society. These daysm, it is common practise that people would replace an entire word and sometimes even entire sentences with just using a few emojis. Although some people may think that receiving small icons instead of sentences would be difficult to comprehend, it is now rather an easy as the number and variety of emojis are constantly growing. In the case of the replacement of certain words with emojis our lecturer, Donna told us of rumours about people getting master’s degrees in Creative Writing by submitting ‘emoji poetry’ as their final projects. Although I cannot confirm whether or not these rumours are factual, it is evident that people do try to both write emoji poetry and translate it to English. If you are interested in the concept of emoji poetry you should take a look at these two poems written by Carina Finn, and translated by Stephanie Berger on Smoking Glue Gun’s website:

Even as emojis dominate social media, they were originally created to allow for easier communication on-line. I personally find that using emojis instead of typing out potentially long messages is easier for both receiver and sender . Since instant messages are just that, they are sent and received in real time. This means that the longer a message is the longer you must wait for it to be typed and sent, and this can be frustrating. Now that emojis can be used we are reducing this wait time and creating a more proficient way of communication on-line.


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