21 Dec 2017

I love me the simplicity of a heart emoji. I send heart emojis to my best friend Kelly every goddamn day. My family members are lucky enough to receive them, too. I appreciate the crying and laughing faces that save me time in my otherwise long-ass, grammatically correct texts I exchange with people. If I am feeling adventurous, I might even explore the emoji weather section. I never ever use emojis in my Instagram posts.

The point is, my emoji game is purposefully weak though I am not sure how much longer I can resist. My friends are millennials, my sister is a millennial, God help me with all the emoji overkill. This post was inspired by the picture tweet by Zach Efron (pretending to) getting his flirt on. Sure, this is a convincing picture – what with the suggesting gaze and the romantic night lights – so shouldn’t that be enough? Of course, the picture has since been overly analysed and is it me or are people losing their sh-t over the heart eyes? Really? I thought one of the points of emoji use is that it requires a less-than-a-second effort. Wouldn’t you rather be the woman who inspires the man to put in MORE effort, not less? C’mon, ladies, the bar is way low! My emoji game may be weak but so is Zach Efron’s flirting game – I’ll take my losses, it's cool.

Speaking of flirting, a few years ago I went through a phase of dating. Dates and texts, for the uninitiated (though there can’t be any) go hand in hand and intertwine in simple ways. You arrange dates by text, you flirt by text, you shag by text should that be your deal – all that sh-t. And every single guy I went out with would consider it his duty to send emoji-heavy texts. It bothered me at first, rubbed the wrong way, but I figured early on I needed to let this one go if I want to end up with any dates at all. Not only did that take a while but reciprocating took even longer. Every one of my responses would be well-thought-out sentences, with punctuation and grammar checks. What? I like to seem presentable, and this is more presentable than Zach Efron will ever get.

I have a friend, a millennial, who works in a corporate structure within the art industry. A few weeks ago, he complained to me that his emojis in emails to colleagues often go unappreciated. I am old, so in response I think my eyeballs just went out of their sockets in an attempt to deal with the fact that people use emojis in a work place. But, f-ck, they obviously do! Not everybody, but they do. There you have it: the generational gap mapped out with the help of the most millennial props.

In the follow-up of the generational gap and romance, I went on a basic Insta creep to see if my favourite couple, Aaron and Sam Taylor-Johnsons Forevah, are equally liberal with their emoji usage. They wouldn’t be, right? Right. It really looks like Aaron Johnson has emoji impulse control issues: so many rainbows, stars and fires! Sam is an emoji user, too, but way behind her husband. Huh. Interesting. I need to sleep on this if I want to figure out whether his street cred has gone down in my eyes.

When I started to write this, I didn’t even know how to spell “emoji” in plural. At first, I typed “emojies”. Then, to check, I googled it and it seems like no one really knows but the general consensus is “emojis”? Both versions are underlined in red by Microsoft, I guess Microsoft doesn’t mind appearing old and crusty. As don’t I.