The Overused Emoje
There was a time when the emoje was just the kind of thing that teenagers used in their instant messenger conversations, but today they are everywhere. Even executives sometimes use them in their work emails. If popular culture is to be believed, everyone loves the emoje. There is even "Emoji: The Movie", and a whole line of merchandise available. That is if you haven’t gotten tired of the current trend of ‘everything unicorn’. So it’s no secret that a lot of people secretly hate the emoji, and cringe when they see them. Yet they may even be tempted to use them in conversation themselves.
Setting the Tone
Researchers at The Australian National University note that emoje provide a textual representation of body language. While men are often praised for terse communication, women are under pressure to show more thought about other's emotions in conversations, and often feel the need to use emoje to make their messages seem lighter, more cheerful, and less bossy.
Now it seems that even men are falling prey to this trend. The modern day millennial is pushing the sensitive model version of a male, turning the Alpha male image into a watered down version of a slushy snowflake! According to a survey conducted by Cotap, 76% of American workers regularly use emoje. Unfortunately, deciding whether or not it is a good idea to use them can be a lose/lose situation. Failure to use emoje in an environment where they are commonplace risks getting you labeled as a psychopath. Yes, we are talking about any social media outlet! Using them in communication with people who do not know you, however, also risks earning the label of "incompetent". Overall, it may be better to shy away from them in early interactions; regardless of your age or obviously gender.
The Decline of Literacy
Emoje are common in popular culture. The rapper Drake has a tattoo of the praying-hands emoje on his forearm. Roger Federer has been known to use them in tweets, where brevity is important. When our idols are using them it is natural to see them as safe and normal. The issue that some academics see, however, is that emoje leave a lot to the imagination and lack the clarity of words. There are many occasions where clarity is vital, and the repeated use of emoje could be seen as a sign that we no longer have the vocabulary required to express ourselves properly.
Emoje certainly have their place, and can be used well. As Jordan Peele once re-told the story "The Shining" in a single tweet that contained 96 emoje icons. That is a nice example of using emoje as an art form, but for the rest of us, however, selective use could be a better policy.