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How Emojis Prevent Miscommunication

How Emojis Prevent Miscommunication

“👋”, I know for sure that you have used this emoji once or twice while greeting someone new. Like a block mate at the beginning of a school year or someone you already know but are not close with. We use them believing it is helpful to show our intentions behind our messages.

But what are they really, and where did they come from?

Short History of Emoji

Emojis are the small and cute, colorful icons we use when in a written conversation. These face-like features show how we feel while creating the message or what we want the receiver to think as they read it. Before the development of emojis as how we see them today, it has long been used, but with minimal characters.

A Japanese artist designed the first emoji by the name of Shigetaka Kurita in the late 1990s. He works for NTT DoCoMo, a mobile communications company. They were developing a new internet platform, but only a finite number of characters were available. Given that, Kurita came up with the concept of using images instead of words. With this, people could send longer messages while using less data.

After over a decade, a uniform set of emojis was produced by Unicode which suggested that the same set of emojis will be universally utilized. Since everyone speaks the same language, emojis were quickly integrated into our daily lives.

Use of Emojis

Communication is symbolic. In different media platforms, we often use emojis to communicate our thoughts and feelings. We include them in messages, Facebook statuses, or caption posts. Due to its efficiency, it has become a big part of modern communication.

Emojis are the 21st Century’s digital response to the truth that we cannot always be present in person. It has become a proper tool to comprehend and feel involved in digital communication. They are crucial for expressing emotion because words are unable to convey it.

In a direct conversation, we sense emotions in others because we are unconsciously processing their facial expressions and gestures. However, in a computer-mediated transmission of messages, it was solely up to us how the message will be interpreted.

For example, you will ask a group mate to make the Powerpoint presentation for the nearing mock defense. Instead of asking, “Can you make the Powerpoint?” you can say, “Can you make the Powerpoint? 😊”. This way, it will not sound rude but a request.

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These are useful to avoid misinterpretation as we cannot hear the tone of voice of whom we are talking to and vice versa; to effectively communicate a wide range of emotions in a way that words sometimes cannot. Also, this increases the engagement and interest of the people in a discussion.

To make it short, emojis fill in the emotional cues missing from a typed conversation. They are expression symbols to clarify the intentions behind the information. However, they are sometimes restricted in academic settings or situations that call for an objective voice. Make sure to know when and how to use them properly.

Emoji characters are endless and seem to be growing through time. So the next time you message someone, make sure to add some. It is not bad, though. 😉

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