Emojis, GIFs, and the fate of friendly conversation

 

A couple of classes back, my Grammar and Linguistics Professor discussed how emojis are slowly becoming more prominent in big businesses as means to attract individuals to purchase their goods, as well as communicating casually among peers. Since Apple introduced the iPhone with this feature, the usefulness of not having to text out full words or even acronyms have increased their overall popularity. Emojis have become such a worldwide phenomenon that other mobile tech companies (specifically Android) began to develop their own application to keep pace. Instead of having to use all caps or sending photos of yourself to display distraught or stress on a specific matter, emojis make it easier to let others know how pissed or happy you are without all of the hassles of saving random pictures from Google.

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Still, there are occasions where emojis can be confusing, for they do not always accurately depict on how they mean to every individual. Do they truly express how users want them to be interpreted? The same professor had included a horribly [yet fantastic] example of a motor company trying to promote their latest vehicle with nothing but emojis. This has been an on-and-off issue for me, personally; I can send a smiley face with a tongue sticking out to tease or taunt, still the receiver could view it horribly wrong [I would rather not share any first-hand situations, but you get the idea]. The evolution of basic communication skills continue to get more complicated even for the most tech-savvy of millennials. To add along with companies applying them within marketing schemes and strategies, it makes me wonder if the use of emojis will heavily influence how information is developed and distributed as a whole.

[On a serious note, I am not for trying to determine any stock market prices with the 😰 emoji attached beside them]

If emojis are becoming a formal way of communicating in this day and age, then the use of GIFs are becoming significant when engaging in conversations between friends and relatives alike. Since stumbling upon their existence on Tumblr, GIFs [in my opinion] happen to do a better job at expressing emotions and reactions since they tie into pop-culture, which helps debunk the idea of seeing them in a Truck Company Ad of some sort. Even if GIFs were used commercially, the possibilities of where would be a head-scratcher; people who use them [such as myself] aren’t going to be thrilled with a GIF set of the latest Silverado out-racing a pack of billy goats. Emojis can’t be coded or formatted to resemble The Batman (The Adam West One) without Photoshop involved, and GIFs can range from tv shows, music videos, or films of any kind. 8 times out of 10, if I were to send someone around my age a GIF as an expressive response they’ll find familiarity in it.

 

Adam West Batman
GIF via tenor

 

 

GIFs are used to be understood on a socially friendly basis, no matter the sub-content. As much as they are made for relativity via reaction, they are about as simple as pictures. At times, pictures are not enough for the receiver to catch what is being expressed right off of the bat. Immediately after GIF is sent, they do not require further explanation since they are self-explanatory in terms of reasoning. Apple has even featured a search tab in its Messenger Application [labeled under #images] to send off responses in GIF form via text, like how emojis are incorporated as its own language in the keyword bank.

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It is not my purpose at all to substitute emojis for this form of media; if they are ever going to be a requirement for a job application in the future, then I am better off sending a graphic of someone being surprised than the standard gasping emoji. Back when I was scrolling through Facebook on a daily basis, emoticons weren’t even thought of being used professionally.

As I get older, the world never seems to fail in finding ways to make casual greetings or typical responses more complicated than exciting. It is bittersweet to find that a good thing has gone on to exceed original initiatives, but I can only appreciate those flip phone days of telling my mother I’m laughing by simply typing “lol”. Now when I decide to send replies off, people tend to think sitting there with a blank face. Do words fail where emojis suddenly prosper? Once an exclusive fad among Apple Device users has shifted into an easy bank for TV shows and Holiday Specials. Hopefully, I don’t come across a requirement on an open job position needing experience in GIF Communications & Interpretation.

A bunch of short-circuit madness without having to type out all the words! Or would you rather have me express how ridiculous it sounds in general?

 

dylan
GIF via imgur

 

 

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