Advice from 18: Let's talk about proper emoji etiquette

Gabrielle Martinez, Staff Intern
Gabby's personal "Bitmoji" says, hi!

Whether it be through animated movies about them, or articles of clothing tarnished with them, or even Hershey chocolate bars now being covered in them, emojis have undoubtedly infested our modern society. They are kind of unavoidable these days, so what do they even mean?

They can be sort of a morse code of wingdings to those who prefer to communicate with sentences and phrases. Thankfully, I'm here to be your one-on-one guide to help you decipher these modern-day hieroglyphics.

While researching for this topic, I soon discovered that the most popular news source for millennials would be my main inspiration for this piece. Buzzfeed.

Specifically, their recent quiz entitled, "Can We Guess Your Most Frequently Used Emoji Based On The Food You Eat At Pizza Hut?" Yes, that's real and you can look it up. I'm the heart eyes emoji, by the way.

So let's start with the background of these friendly faces.

The word "emoji" derives from the longer word "emoticons." These familiar symbols were first seen in Japanese mobile phones in 1997 and grew to be national sensations around 2010.

Many have remained the same, such as the infamous swirl of poop. However, every platform and smartphone has their own versions and variations of the tiny figures.

So, this is where it gets a bit confusing right? Samsung emojis look different from the Apple ones, which look different from the Facebook ones, and it goes on and on and on.

They all mean the same thing. But, what do they matter? Why does any of this matter, right?

It doesn't! Well, unless the future of the workforce requires an emoji efficiency certification. And by looking at brands' social media activity nowadays, I may not be too far off!

But, emojis are also admittedly fun and can add a little pizazz to another boring message.

Also, emojis are great in their ability to signify your sarcasm or jokes in a text.

Everyone knows that when reading texts, it can be easy to misunderstand or misconstrue a sentence in your head. Did they mean to come off so aggressive, or are you just not taking into account their natural sarcasm that some people are just graced with?

If you're one of these people, this can easily be cleared up with a tap of an emoji! Typically an addition of a laughing face stands in for the facial expression context that would've been given in actual face-to-face contact.

Additionally, try to avoid emojis that have bad connotations amongst the teens. These are primarily emojis such as the snake emoji, which signifies a shady acquaintance with bad intentions, or the manicure emoji, which is usually used to settle a point in an argument or signify superiority.

So what if you want to just sound hip around the kids? Pronunciation is a big deal. It's common to use emojis online, but waters become murky when actually speaking out loud about the expressions.

For the most part, emojis are simply called what they look like. Winky emoji is, as you can probably assume, the one that is winking.

But, don’t mistake the one with tears and an upturned mouth for a sad, crying one. That one is a laughing crying face, and it may put you in some deep trouble if used mistakenly.

Take for instance the time when Twitter user, @CassidyCoggins, announced to her grandmother over text that she had torn her ACL and was going to need intense surgery. In response, her grandmother, unfortunately, chose a laughing emoji to react to the bad news.

And while you've got to give grandma some credit for trying, it's obvious that identification is a strong prerequisite to have to go into the emoji game.

But what if you're thinking to yourself, "I know what these mean. I send them all day!" Just note this one little saying: less is more.

Sure, you want that person you're texting to know just how much you love them, but maybe using all seventeen of those heart emojis is a tad bit overboard.

And would it even be the internet if there wasn't some underlying sinfulness in it? All I'll say on that is: if I were you, I'd probably stay away from the peach emoji.

So, where do we go from here with emojis? Well, we turn ourselves into them!

A popular app, Bitmoji, actually lets you make a mini version of yourself to act as your personal emoji. For some, this is stepping too far into new territory.

As an eighteen year old, I think they're pretty fun!