Evolving with the emoji

Most things these days have a “day”.

There’s the obvious ones, Christmas Day, Easter Day, Father’s Day etc… and the ones which have crept into our world, including, since 2014, World Emoji Day.

Now, admit it, you have used an emoji in the past few days. Whether it be a Like on a Facebook post, a happy wink at a sarcastic remark on a text message or the other one when you think something is, well, you know…

Like it or not, the emoji has become a constant in our lives – there’s even a Hollywood film out later this year all about these little icons.

I’ll admit it, I use emojis constantly these days but it took me a while to fall for them. Here’s why…

I despise the phrase “lol”, I’ve never used it but a lot of colleagues and friends do. It doesn’t make me want to use it though.

For the uninitiated “lol” either refers to “laugh out loud” or “lots of love”, depending on which side of the fence you sit.

You see, as a writer, I tend to use proper words and always get excited when I discover a new one. It’s like an addiction; some people cannot wait for the next episode of Game of Thrones, I can’t wait for the next word to learn.

Shortlist

Almost two years ago, the Oxford Dictionary announced this as their Word of the Year…

 

As I say, I love a good emoji. Many of my WhatsApp messages are flooded with them, usually to illustrate my sarcasm at my mates asking me how my week is going but we won’t go into that. OK, happy smiling faces usually, along with the odd beer glass and thumbs up. I have even used them on my social media platforms but I refrain from populating press releases and blogs with them, apart from this one, obviously.

As a profession, journalists and PR types love the written word and replacing it with icons is frankly seen by some as just plain lazy.

It begs the question whether words are really being replaced by icons. Of course, it won’t happen. Could you really imagine reading The Guardian and the Autumn Statement text is replaced by a series of pound sterling signs, No Entry icons and that funny brown one which is actually meant to be chocolate ice-cream? Actually, it might make the whole of the Chancellor’s speech make more sense.

But, like lol, it seems they are here to stay, so embrace the emoji.

Sporting

And they do have their uses. Like with most things (except lol) I am willing to give emojis a chance. Here’s why…

At the end of the last football season, BBC Sport conducted a poll using emojis to represent the season according to a Premier League fan with each club represented. Supporting this blue side of the Mersey, I constantly find this tricky, but I gave it a go. The next day I did my usual check of the Beeb’s sporting section and there it was, my tweet, in full technicolour. Cue smiley icon.

Nick EFC emoji

Did I mention my love for emojis? Sometimes, they even make me lol. Sorry.

Nick Hyde is PR & Marketing Manager at Happy Creative, a full service marketing and creative agency based in Blackpool, Lancashire. To learn more or contact us please go to www.happy-creative.co.uk

01253 446 933

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