Emojis - the evolution of communication

Emojis: The Evolution of Communication

Many people lament the use of emojis in communication. They view the use of emojis as primitive. I have heard them equated with ancient pictographs and hieroglyphics. In many ways they are correct, but there is another way to view this phenomena.

There is an evolution in communication happening right before us.

Emojis evolved for the explicit purpose of conferring emotion. As more and more people began communicating through data and text based systems, it became apparent that there was miscommunication based on the lack of an emotional basis in conversation.

There was no clear way to transmit happiness, sadness, anger, or even sarcasm and playfulness. How many of you can remember a moment when something you sent via text based communication was completely misinterpreted? Emojis evolved to fill this gap.

They have been hugely successful in this role. Most people in the world today are at least familiar with Emoji’s and their purpose in textual communication. We now tend to automatically include them in communications that may be misinterpreted.

Think about that. We, as a species are learning a new thought process. We are now self-editing, with the singular purpose of transmitting emotional context. In order to do this, we must first be aware of our emotions.

Mankind has never really paid attention to his emotions. They just “are”. While we spend vast amounts of time and energy feeding, training, and building our bodies and our minds, our emotions continue to run rampant and rule our lives.

  • We get angry, we react.
  • We are sad, we become lethargic.
  • We are happy, we lose focus.

Once we are aware of our emotions, we can use them just as we use our bodies or our minds. Now, we are becoming aware. We stop, we consider, we insert an emoji to confer an emotion. What then?

I have found myself stopping at that point and then deleting the entire communication. During that pause, and identification of my emotion I realized that this communication was not only not necessary, but may not be in anyone’s best interest.

I now have a tool to assist me in being a positive force in my life and for everyone who receives text based communications from me.

That realization was pretty awesome. Of course, not everybody considers the emotional context and there are Emoji’s that are strictly for fun. You can even order a pizza now by texting an emoji to a pizza vendor. I suppose hunger is an emotion. 😉

How do you like that? An emoji snuck in on me out of habit. OK, a pizza emoji probably doesn’t completely support my emotional premise, but the point is that it’s new and evolving. What would that pizza emoji represent?


The next step beyond emotion. I know how I feel,  now where does that emotion lead me. What is it that I truly desire. Again, pizza might be simplistic but it’s a work in process.

All of this was thought provoking and pretty astounding in it’s own right, but it was my next realization that blew me away.

Humanity is in the process of creating a new, text based communication system that has no language barriers.

A smiley face, or a wink, a crying face , or even that pizza emoji are the same in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese or Svengali.


Not only are there no language barriers, but this system was created on the basis of conferring emotion and desire.

While others lament the loss of cursive writing in our society, we are creating a new type of communication which is concise, accurate, largely emotional based, and completely multilingual.

I can’t wait to see where this leads us.

Featured image credit: flickr user The All-Nite Images, License: CC BY-SA (commercial reuse with modification)

Disclaimer: The views and opinions stated in this post are that of the author, and Return On Now may or may not agree with any or all of the commentary.

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Daniel Landry

Daniel Landry is a graduate of “The School of Hard Knocks”. A thinker and a rebel, who always chose the “other road”. A student of people, persons, and spirit, he is a true seeker who ask the questions that others don’t.

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