You get a text message. No words. Staring back at you is a small American flag, a red balloon and a cheeseburger.
You just got hit with emojis.
Forget text. These visual representations of emotions are beginning to take hold of America, first in Asia and now in our app stores, according to Parmy Olson of Forbes.com, where a new all-emoji app is on the way.
But where do they come from?
That's what Fast Company Design’s John Brownlee asked in an article this week on the origins of emojis. They’re actually brought to you by the Unicode Consortium, a nonprofit organization of technology companies that create the standards for modern software and cellular products, Fast Company wrote.
But it was only recently that Unicode included emojis into its repertoire. Emojis have been around for many years. They were actually a part of Japanese culture “when they debuted as a cute software feature on local phones. Pretty soon, millions of Japanese phones across multiple carriers came with huge emoji libraries pre-installed,” Brownlee wrote.
It was only in 2010 that emojis became a part of the Unicode Standard with version 6.0 and started popping up more regularly in America, Brownlee wrote. Since then, the images have gone viral and have in many ways replaced traditional text messages.
And new ones are on their way with the 250 set to hit phones this month. People all over are advocating for the creation of new types of emojis, too. Creating one, and getting it popular, is actually a relatively simple process, Browlee wrote.
“First, you've got to use it yourself,” he wrote. “Then, you've got to get other people using it. And finally, you have to prove to experts that the alphabet has a hole in it without it.”
So what kind of emoji would you want to create?
Possibly something positive — people like that kind of thing.
The Huffington Post reported back in June that emoticons — like your traditional “:)” smiley face, which is different than an emoji — can actually make you happier and get you some new friends. This is based on research by Simo Tchokni and others, who all found there are plenty of pluses to putting in a positive pictorial emotion.
“Using (the emoticon created by typing) ‘:-)’ can win over friends, make you likable and even boost your mood,” HuffPost’s Bianca Bosker wrote. “A strategic ‘:-)’ can also take the edge off, which may help bypass the ‘reading rage’ that can erupt over a poorly phrased email.”
But some emojis have been known to create controversy — like the emoji of a person praying, or is it high-fiving? And, one of the 250 new emojis due out in July has especially sparked up conversations about the negative side of these type of emojis and emoticons alike — a middle finger.
This new emoji could spark a problem on the Internet. Sure, it might be good to ward off some Internet trolls. But, then again, it could come back to bite users, writes Shruti Dhapola of First Post.
“If someone is abusing you on Twitter … or calling you a fool, you can whip out a quick response but it might just come flying back on your timeline as well, multiplied manifold, a new troll missile.”
Regardless of the controversy, emojis are a natural thing for people, according to Takehiro Ariga, a Japanese magazine editor, who spoke to NPR about the emojis that hit Japan in the late 1990s.
“It is very natural,” he said, “that people want to communicate in other ways other than normal character.”
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.