Remember life before emojis? Hellish, wasn’t it, having to use language all the time? You wasted entire days of your life tip-tapping at your phone’s clacking keyboard, wasting time, energy, and phone credit. Life is so much easier now that we can respond to pretty much anything that arrives in our numerous inboxes with a thumbs up, a curled bicep, a frothy pair of pints, or the ubiquitous and always-useful tears of joy.
Unicode – the team who make your emoji dreams come true – has just given the world 230 new reasons to not bother with words in the near future, having unveiled this year’s batch of fresh-out-of-the-digital-oven emojis. Emojis, by the way, were invented back in 1999 by Japanese artist Shigetaka Kurita (the sort of fact that would come in very, very handy if It’s Nice That ever branched out into pub quizzes).
This update – the 12th official batch of emojis – includes everything from waffles to sloths, via saris and guide dogs. From a sociological perspective, the most interesting aspect of the new emoji selection is that Unicode seems to have made a concerted (and necessary) effort to work on representation.
Emojipedia – a useful resource for all things emoji-related – notes that “2019 expands the scope of people that can be represented, including people with various disabilities, a gender-inclusive couple, as well as emojis which permit a mix of skin tones for people holding hands.”
The latest additions to the emoji cannon will roll out across devices globally from March.
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