Publish at February 22 2022 Updated March 04 2022

Emojis, a language revolution?

Modern pictograms decided by GAFAM

Human dialogue is special because it requires both the use of words but is also supported by gestures. Facial expressions or hand positions add to the speech. When synchronous technological communication arrived, it was a shock. How can I express the subtleties of my mood to someone who can't see me? In Japan, this limitation, along with that of characters, led to the creation of emoji. Since then, the West has picked it up and billions of these symbols are used online every day.

This is not the first time humanity has used images to better articulate ideas. Pictograms like hieroglyphics were part of this type of language. However, never before have we used drawings so much to reveal one's thoughts to others.

Is this, however, a universal language?  Not necessarily since non-verbal language is disparate between cultures. What's more, the standardization of this representation of emotions by GAFAMs also raises many ethical and linguistic questions.

Time: 31min41

Illustration: Denis Cherkashin on Usplash

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