THE ETHICAL WAY OF USING EMOJI
Words: Nirveek PPJ Shah
This year has not been the best for animated movies. The Despicable Me series is becoming saturated by the Minions, who are in my opinion, despicably cringe worthy. I don’t know why they made another Smurf movie because the first one was a total flop. (Never make a live action of any thing. You need to stop doing that. Please.) Then, there’s the Boss Baby, of which I saw the trailer at the theaters while I was waiting to watch Bahubali 2. It made me lose all of my anticipation for the great movie, then again, Bahubali did not disappoint at all. And then, there’s the Emoji Movie. This movie got a 10% rating from the Rotten Tomatoes, and 2.4/10 from the ol’ faithful IMDB. Fortunately, I didn’t get a showing in Nepal, but unfortunately, it stars Sir Patrick Stewart as the poop emoji. You may think I’m shitting you, but no, look it up. I’m sorry, Patrick, but you did not pass.
The whole premise is about a multi-expression Emoji who lives in a phone, and all he wants to do is become a Meh emoji just like his parents. Yeah… not the best of plots; but enough roasting (for now). Regardless of bad the plot was, the reason why they went ahead with it because of the popularity of emojis. If you’ve been living under a Dwayne Johnson, an emoji is a tiny facial expression which is often incorporated into text messages. Some say that the word is the plural of an emoticon; the OG :). Now, it has evolved into tiny pictures of cars, cakes, peaches, and eggplants, and have made their way into our ways of communicating.
It is uncommon for someone to send a text without an emoji. Sometimes, their whole text is a hamlet of emojis, heck, sometimes it’s a whole damn continent. They do it because the medium of text is a pretty casual one, and it’s far more convenient to push in an emoji than to type it’s corresponding word. With that being said, is it okay to use it so… “liberally”?
“AM I AN ADULT?”
Take a moment to contemplate this question. Ask yourself, “Do I respect myself?” Follow that up with a cold, “Do I want others to respect me?”
If you answered those with a No; sorry fam, you’re a different case. If yes, take my word, just don’t use it. Why? Because when you use it you don’t come off as cute, but as someone who is not serious and is immature. Or even creepy. You know how serial killers send threats and blackmails by using cut outs of words? Yeah, that’s what it looks to me.
Now, yeah, you may be engaged in a casual conversation, but you still have to maintain an image.
If you do want to use it, keep it to the bare minimum, say, a smiling emoji per 5 text boxes.
WHAT EMOJI TO USE
I know it’s contradictory to my first point, but since we’ve agreed upon a smiley per 5 texts, we can’t use it all the time. Sometimes, it’s odd to put it next to a condolence. “My thoughts and prayers with the family of the departed :)” See? I hope you see it, honestly.
In all seriousness, all you need is the :), a :(, and the thumbs up.
DON’T LOOK FOR IT
If you’re looking for what emoji to send, you’re already messing it up for yourself. All you need is the bare minimum I mentioned above.
WITH GREAT EMOJIS COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILITY
Okay, okay, they’re not that great. But, the use of them are applicable to a number of things. The best use is when you have to use sarcasm. Observe how this line gets toned down, yet gets the message across. (Scenario: When a coworker doesn’t turn their work in on time and makes a petty excuse.) “lol sure, that’s fine. Take your time sweet prince, it’s not like I was trying to be productive or anything lol :)”
THE CONVERSATION ENDER
Confession: I tend to talk a lot, and often, it’s pointless, or just the same thing worded differently. When I talk to Ankit dai, our editor, and go off topic, he replies with a thumbs up. That’s when I know it’s time for me to keep mum.
As a receiver of countless thumbs up, I find it to be the perfect period to a conversation. It’s non offensive, and effective. The other person will get the message.
Then again, don’t over do it. If you do, you’ll just come off as a douche bag who’s not listening to what they’re saying. Never hurt someone’s feeling like that. You’d rather write paragraphs with emojis and be a kid than be an arse.
DON’T CALL OUT OTHERS FOR IT
We are gentlemen here. And a huge part of being one is to keep to oneself. The way you dress yourself is secondary, what matters is how you carry yourself. And the way to do that is by not poking your nose into other’s business. Regardless of how annoying the person you’re chatting to is, don’t point out that their excessive use of emojis is childish. You’re just being rude if you do that, and that’s very ungentlemanly of you. Besides, you’re being the better person, they’re just mere peasants.