Let’s be honest, at times we plant emoji type icons on our face in social and work settings. I confess that I do. I’m smiling. I’m sad. I’m surprised, goofy, nauseous (or green with envy, not sure which), winking, and so on. I catch myself doing this minimal face mask expression for various reasons. It staves off someone from coming in for a closer view if they see a recognized, appropriate response as they continue with their talk. It also can deflect someone from pursuing a subject of (my) vulnerability – I’m smiling, no need to stop and ask questions. And it can be considered similar to wearing the proper attire to a social or work function. Using emojis are supposed to enhance what we’re messaging, but I find it often diminishes what is percolating inwardly, whether in a text or Facebook response, or in a purposely poised facial smile. Think about a Facebook emoji for a friend who has experienced a life-changing situation such as a death in the family. A sad yellow balloon head seems completely out of sync with the depth of experience. And then oddly, I feel guilty if I don’t respond with some kind of trivial tech character. True emotions don’t fit inside emoji icons and they aren’t singular or static. Emotions are like the weather and atmospheric conditions that permeate everything. You can be enjoying a perfectly beautiful day and several hours later experience a torrential hail (hell) storm. Or crocuses can be seen peeking through the snow in late winter. Then consider the concept of a drought. I can think of several people in an emotional drought mode.
No worries, I’m not going to mention climate change, but I do want to include Techterms.com’s definition for emoji. “A small icon that can be placed inline with text. The name ‘emoji’ comes from the Japanese phrase ‘e’ and ‘moji,’ which translates to ‘picture character.’ They have largely replaced emoticons as the standard way to express an emotion in a message or comment. By inserting emojis into a message, you emphasize a feeling or simply replace words with symbols.” And I’ve discovered there are numerous websites such as emojipedia.org, emojikeyboard.org, getemoji.com, and emojiwrap.com. There are tons of articles updating and advising about misinterpretations, and others suggesting to use caution because they translate differently in different cultures.
I had no idea all of this information existed. But regardless how many emojis are created and articles are written, emotions flood our experience and shape our world. Emotions can’t be contained in words, yellow balloon heads, nor even great works of art and music. Emotions are implied, transcendent, complex, ever-changing currents to explore, experience, and adventure within. While writing REDEFINING, I created a term called “emolution,” which means the evolution of emotions – the gradual growth of awareness to encompass a greater emotional capacity. I believe we would all benefit by identifying emotions that are not usually recognized and anoint them with a new word. We often search for concepts to define emotions that are difficult to express, and end up with inadequate words. This situation stifles not only the expression of the experience but the experience itself by trying to shape it into something that doesn’t fit.
This takes me back to masking complex emotions with an emoji-type minimalist expression when engaging in certain settings. Sometimes I feel hypocritical when I sense myself doing this, but most of the time it’s just a convenience for interacting. I try to account for and examine what I’m fully experiencing emotionally at another time. I consider this a dual perspective approach. It is one that doesn’t minimize an emotion but allows for the merging and movement of inner “atmospheric conditions” that don’t always fit well in conversations. I’ve been told to “just get to the point” on many occasions. However, I feel the emotional journey is a part of the point. The key word here is journey. Messaging and emojis are more of a day trip, or coffee break.
The SEARCH is on. Join me – a day trip, coffee break, or journey.
We access the computer more readily than we do ourselves. LOG OFF
Search Engine: a program on the Internet that allows users to search for files and information.
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