Emojis are a universal language for the expression of intent and feelings which cannot be conveyed in written communication according to the theory of Hamza Alshenqeeti which he has mentioned in his paper. There is constant change in the way humans interact and communicate and communication today is totally dependent on the social trends and the recent technological trends. Social media platforms are the new media of today. A statistical analysis shows that 92% of people on social media use emojis. There is a void in the new media for interactions because the communication is written and the written communication cannot always convey the mood, intent, and feelings a person is expressing. It is very hard for a person to express feelings of current mood or intent and even harder to guess those feelings. Emojis are filling that void which is in the written communications used in new media. There are other various communication techniques in the new media like voice calls and video calls but those aren’t as used as the messaging or written form. Emojis are a huge part of symbolic interactions. Emojis give genuine nuances and clarity to the messages and also are subjected to creativity in linguistics. Emojis are great to express feelings that are dual in nature. The feelings could be humorous as well as sad. In this case, emojis are the perfect fit. There are various articles and news pieces these days that express certain things very efficiently without taking the risk of being misinterpreted or misunderstood. This is the power of emojis. Emojis can also be imagined constantly and provide newer emojis for feelings that are not marked yet by the emojis. Emojis shorten the length of the messages. There are a lot of written pieces, articles, and news that can be shortened just by using a few emojis. This is because the emojis will do the task of making people understand the explanatory things that have been intended to mention. Messages are done for hours and used to talk the heart out. So to be able to type a long message for hours will be a tedious task. In such scenarios, emojis can be used which will make the messages short. Emoji can even replace up to a few sentences. A person may not have to even write a sentence instead send an emoji and his or her message would be perfectly conveyed.
Apart from the theory, Emojis being a universal language there is another theory that is being discussed in this paper is the theory of Symbolic interactionism. The theory of Symbolic Interactionism sheds light upon the fact that the written communication isn’t the most effective form of communication that can be done by using alphabets. Emojis and other symbols are the remedy for the loop holes that the written communication has. According to the theorist of this theory Symbolic Interactionism is a language in itself. Symbolic interactionism is the frame that provides reference for better understanding of the individualistic interactions. Emoji means a form of dialect as in the linguistics which a group of community can understand. Emoji may not be the cup of tea for everyone but could be the most used for certain people. The theory of the symbolic interactions have different assumptions regarding the use of emojis and other symbols as a part of the conversation or communication. Symbolic Interactionism is the first theory from the linguistic point of view that is inclusive of symbols and their use in linguistic as a potential form of a language. Symbolic Interactionism assumes that the individuals structure the meaning through the communication processes. The other assumption is that self-conceptualization for behavior is done by motivation. It also assumes that there exists as unique relationship between the individual and the society where the individual belongs. The ideas for the emojis and symbols as the part of the communication derives from the social interactions and conversations that one person carries out with the other. The theory of the symbolic interactionism would best fit to the use of the emoji as a social phenomenon. Emojis are basically symbols which are used for interactions with other people but on the written communication medium. Different symbol may be differently understood by different groups. As there are different languages that are understood by specific group of people, it is almost similar with the symbols and the emojis. This phenomenon is true because emoji can be considered as a language of its own. The use of the emojis in the written communication highly applies the meaning of the symbolic interactionism theory because of the fact that emojis also are symbols and emojis can be considered as the sub set of the theory of symbolic interactionism.
The word emoji was invented in Japan by Shigentaka Kurita for a Japan based mobile company. The word emoji means pictograph as named by the Japanese. The Oxford Dictionary calls emojis as a form of facial expression which is formed by combination of certain keyboard characters. There is a significant growth in the use of the emojis. The emojis in itself has become a language which is highly popular among people. Emojis can be termed as the largest use of additional components as advancement in the written form of the communication. There is a great place for development in the written communication area and the things lacking in it filled by emojis. Emojis did not exist before the use of the digital world. Earlier written communication was time consuming. It took days for a message to deliver and next few days for the message to arrive but with the increasing popularity of the new media the case isn’t the same. Message or written communication is done instantly. Once the message is delivered the reply also can be received. The only time that is invested is the time taken to type. Now that the messaging has become a lot more frequent the use of emojis became frequent. People now can communicate a lot more and thus have to talk more. So the use of emojis has become prevalent amongst people. In today’s world written communication isn’t reliant on alphabets. Emojis can be confused with the symbols of other digital forms such as the emoticons. Emoticons may seem identical to emojis but they are two different form of symbolic representations. Despite the emojis and the emoticons being confused with each other there are some clear difference between these two. The potential collection or the library of the emojis has been increasing. This is because of the growing use and the popularity of the emojis. This indicates that the emojis has been efficient in making people easier to communicate digitally on media platforms. Anything popular are subjected to criticism. The case with the emojis is also the same. Criticism is nothing new for anything popular or that has been growing widely. Some critics also show concern on this matter on educational basis. Their concern is that of people not using the alphabetical linguistics might affect the knowledge of people. They fear of the literacy rate no being up to mark because of the communication using the emojis may lessen the use of alphabets very much. Emoji has emerged to become every individuals own paralanguage. Some critics also cite that the use of emojis can clarify but at the same time can also confuse people because the emojis show the emotions but there is absence of the individual whose emotion is to be clarified and all this is because of the digital nature of the communication. Emojis can be tolerated despite its dominance is killing the alphabetical use it shows euphemisms and sarcasm according to some other critics. Different critics have different takes on the excessive use of the emojis while some share common feelings. Many critics and researchers have explained emojis as cartoons which are annoying and are without any verbal cues. Many critics have cited that the excessive use of the emojis hampers the literacy. Young people who are in school also are using emojis as part of their interactions. This makes them to be avoiding the academic script and language which might lead to educational problems in the future. Emojis may fill the void in the digital communications but fails to be part of the education as of now. For this particular reason emojis have critics not appreciating it the way new generation is doing. The philosophers in the early days were privileged with face to face communications and verbal communications. They did not use written communication. Earlier the pressure to make people understand using the verbal cues was immense because there were no provisions for the written communications. There were limitations in the language after it developed but with the emergence of the emojis the limitations seem to have deemed. Researchers in the early days of the internet found that being witty or sarcastic online was very much difficult task. Earlier, when the internet was just evolving people had difficulties to show wittiness and sarcasm online because the exact words were translated but not the intent behind it. Emojis came into light and then ideas were generated for the use of the emojis to make sentences and the messages more meaningful. A researcher gave an idea of using the smiley emoji when people are being sarcastic. As already explained when there is lack of written text, the emojis can fill the void. There is complain though that these emojis do not contain the linguistic traits of the English language as there is absence of the alphabets. Verbal conversation show that they are not just speech and listening but also there are indications made which are easily understood by the listener. In a similar fashion the written communication is also not all about the alphabets or similar notions of the alphabets in other languages but also can be inclusive of symbolic interactionism and emoji is exactly the same. By this we can conclude that emoji in fact is a form of language. Emoji can be also called as a script because it does the similar tasks that other scripts provide. Scripts provide a medium using which written communication can be done, information can be passed. Similarly emoji also provide a medium to write, to communicate, for passing messages. Emoji in the new media can be said that it has a great meaning. The meaning now depends upon its use. Everything and anything that is in the use is meaningful because something meaning less cannot be so much prevalent in society. The excessive and the popular use of the emojis declare its meaning by itself. The new media is all about the young people because it has grown to its full during this generation. The young people are carrying the new media to new level. The new media has replaced a lot of traditional media. Since the new media is in excessive use, emojis become even more meaningful because of the fact that emojis has grown only on the new media. Emojis aren’t used elsewhere in large fashion. Digital media is the only platform that uses emojis and this makes new media only platform for the emojis.
Despite all these heavy and the excessive use of the emojis in the digital world it is hard to say it is equally used by various kinds of groups. There speculations that emojis are used as language mainly by women. Quantity of women using emojis is more than that of men. Men are more likely to use emojis when they become sarcastic and they have strong perceptions on the use of the emojis while women tend to use it more often and the expression of the intent from emojis of women is not as strong as of men. Emojis work as a key word or a code that is assigned to certain small messages. Certain emojis complement, some express sarcasm, some express, humor, some are used to express anger, agony, mood and intent. Emojis are enhanced code words used instead of the sentences but they are replacing the sentences but making more meaningful by cutting it down. Emojis are means that provide possibilities of new kind for carrying out communications. Further talking to the point that emojis has become a language it can be said that the emojis now are also being used in emails and work messages. This could be a step for accepting emojis as a new language or it could just advance level evolution in the use of emojis. The characteristics of the emojis are expanding very fast among the digital mediated personals and the all kinds of communication spaces that are done on the new media which has forced many to acknowledge the use of emojis even if they are not keen to use it. The face to face conversation reveal the perception behind the intent of the thought. For example when asked how they are people may reply that they are fine without being fine but since it is face to face conversation one can find out that they are not actually fine. To express similar notions the language and the alphabets do not provide any clear indications but the emojis do. There are emojis which says everything is fine but the sad face behind it can also be expressed. There were various researches which indicate that there are major differences in how and why different groups use emojis in the digital media. Emojis also come with gender specific emotion and behaviors. Research shows that emoticons are highly used when interacting with friends and less when interacting with strangers. Taking this fact into consideration it can be concluded that emojis are very friendly and incorporate closeness. Its use is less when interacting with strangers because people don’t express their heart out with strangers. They prefer to be simple and straight about their conversations. This explains lesser use of the emojis among strangers and high use emojis among friends. Research also indicated that emojis are used more to express positivity. Negativity is also expressed through emojis but use of emojis to express negativity is quite less compared to that of the positivity. Emoji can said to be spreading positivity. The gender centric behaviors in the emojis fluctuates according to the kinds of the user and receivers. To support this theory W.J.T Mitchell has stated that there is some kind of inherent enigma between the images in the mind and the study of the icons. This happens because an image can’t be seen without any kind of paradoxical trick of mental stability and consciousness. It is an ability to spot the differences between the objects which are there and which aren’t. Emojis have been used as catalyst to serve as most effective part of online communications. There is always a chance that the messages of the sender will be misunderstood but with the use of emojis it is very less likely. Even if the messages using emojis do not provide clear understanding the message will not be misunderstood rather it will be put on hold to check if that person really wanted to say something negative. Emoji has such an impact on the interactions that people tend to think only the positive for any messages including an emoji. Although people understand the difference between things they have difficulty in estimating confusing and straight forward messaging. This problem is solved with the use of emojis.
Change is constant phenomenon that keeps happening. Everything and anything earthly is subjected to change. Society changes .its social values, operational system, linguistics evolve. Change takes places until and unless the subject is totally collapsed. Anything that evolves can keep evolving or can keep degrading till it has fully over. In the same manner emojis are also a phenomenon which are subjected to high changes. It can keep evolving and can take over all the forms of written communications or it can keep eradicating day by day. The young generation who has grown up using the new media for communication purposes has been very much accepting towards the change. The use emoji is not a new thing today but for people who grew up in the 90’s accepted the change and helped emoji to become a potential language. Acceptance to the change is the major step for evolving a new thing especially when people have almost perfect form of languages. The emojis are also attractive in its presentation. Attractiveness and the pictorial nature of the emojis make them very intriguing for the users to use more often. There are certain ranges which need to be covered for anything to become almost like a language. The wide use of the emojis in the social media platforms like facebook, twitter, whatsapp, blog has made emojis a culture. So it is safe to say that the emojis also cover various range of cultures too. The excessive use of the emojis also suggest that there is need and willingness among the users to use the emojis as part of sharing their emotions and feelings. Emojis has helped people share their emotions which they find of new kind and are hard for them to explain using the alphabets. There is a huge problem though that has been associated to the use of the emojis. Particularly in the area of positivity and the negativity of the message. It is hard to find the impact of the message where the sender means positivity or negativity. The use of emojis can be anywhere. It can be placed at the start of a sentence or at the end of the sentence or in the middle. Emojis can be used anywhere in the sentence and provide meaning. This is a tremendous specialty of the emojis. In the meantime the use of the emoji is not to just specify the negative and positive intent carried by the message but also the forms of the intent and the amount the feelings such as happiness, anger, sadness, agony, excitement, dual feelings like the word face with tears of joy, state of being witty and sarcastic etc. Most people cannot express their exact emotion. The pure form of the text do not include what one has to say but the emojis can do such tasks easily and efficiently. Humans are social animals and they have a constant need for interactions and conversations socially. While going to this process for many years people tend to find some loop holes in the process of the communication which has to be addressed. Emojis are the results of such quest and search. Interactions are the basic form of study and it is this study over the period of time on human interactionism emojis evolve. People are willing to accept the emojis because they are part of every individual heuristic value. The human being are a thinking being. Human action can sometimes also be interaction with themselves. On extending the thoughts of emojis as a language towards the ancient concerns about the shortcomings of writings and given that those writings were interpreted by someone else to someone else. The exchange of the messages had long term problems. The bigger problems were a kingdom misunderstanding a message and waging a war on the other. Words are not limited to hurting individuals when misinterpreted but could be matter of mass destruction. Emojis in the ancient time could have been a key player for better communications. The emojis were the need of the time so they evolved and the evolution escalated very quickly confirming the need to be immense. Emojis serve in multiple ways. They remediate attitudes as well as nonverbal cues while concurrently monitoring user’s previous knowledge and way of communications. Emojis have enriched platforms with valuable emotional cues in the new media and all kind of communication spaces. Emojis have very efficiently demonstrated ways with which individuals are able to express most of their sentiments that can be accessible to them only in the face to face environment. The meaning of the emoji which users use to interact could potentially be their personality in the real world.
There is still a prevalent question despite all the heavy use of the emojis in the communication. The question is that whether the emojis bring value to the language in any form or not. The emojis are evolving to become a part of the language or they are about to become whole new language in themselves is a major question that people need to ask themselves because it is every individual who is aligned towards the use of the emojis and are concerned about it. The emojis are the part of oxford dictionary now. This explains the heuristic value that is embedded in the emojis. Oxford Dictionary termed the word or the phrase face with tears of joy as word of the year. The inclusion of individual emoji in particular into the oxford dictionary confirms the heuristic value of the emojis among the people is high. People themselves tend to encourage the use of the emojis because they claim to find no interpretation issues. New emojis are under making every now and then. It is not just made by linguistic experts or geniuses but by different people in the different field. Anyone who are active digitally and socially on the new media tend to have some idea about the progress of the emojis. Students who are not even graduate are designing new kind of emojis all by themselves. People who are not very good with their writing skills may also be seen developing new emojis. This is all because of the heuristic value that people have acquired in the favor of emojis and symbolic interactions. Years from now emojis will be considered as primary form of literacy and then the alphabets may be considered. The academic interests towards emojis have certainly escalated to a new high. Writing a paper about the meaning of emojis from the symbolic interactionism perspective can be also an example of the heuristic value that has been associated with the emojis in today’s world. Many researchers write their papers and blog on emojis. Emojis represent wide range of concepts than any other symbols. The redundancy in the use of the emojis has become higher than ever. Emojis now are being used where even the alphabets will do justice to the intent. This shows that emojis are on the way to become a whole new language for people globally. Redundancy is the key to identify the nature of the message sender. With the excessive use of and higher redundancy of emojis in anyone’s message is a clear indication of that person being totally heuristic about that particular symbol, word or emoji. There is an issue in the factor of redundancy which needs to be discussed. The emoji in a particular which is very much redundant in any message may not be necessarily conveying messages because a person may not be feeling and trying to express the same thing throughout but it can the habit of his/her which they have developed using high number of emojis. The emojis may not be used wisely but still the redundancy indicates that there is high enthusiasm and fashion among people to use emojis. There are many experiments carried out by data scientists and computer researchers on the use of emojis in messages, blogs, posts, social media statuses, tweets etc. From similar experiments carried out on the tweet researchers found that the highest number of emojis were used in the tweets as a replacements of the words that are used to describe mood, feelings and intent. The familiarity of the emojis also increases because everyone can understand the messages with emojis. Image messages are the most effective messages and the emojis are in pictorial form. People tend to forget how abstract the written languages re because the human minds are hardwired with the use of written languages academically and officially. They have subconsciously made a place for emojis in their minds without knowing that they are using emojis because of the abstractness in the written languages which are used officially. For example a child when sees a picture can call its name but cannot call the item by looking at its written form. Suppose a child hears someone say apple and the child has incorporated the word apple in an audio form and has synced bit with the visual form of an apple. Now when he sees an apple in a book the he can point it out as an apple but on the context of reading the text is that he cannot read it. This is because of the pre -existing nature of human to show tendency of knowing by images and pictures. Similarly the emojis are pictorial content and the human tendencies towards knowing it will automatically establish.
The curiosity of people towards the use of the emojis has become high. Researchers have collected data to see if the use of emojis has difference among platforms. The use of the emojis are not that consistent but the meaning of the emojis tend to be consistent. The use of the emojis are found in the places where emojis aren’t necessary at all. This is because people are now habitual about it. People consistently want to know about the things they are invested in. Communication are heavily invested with emojis and this explains the heuristic value of the emojis. There is a whole lot of effort put into finding the correct section for certain kinds of emojis. The craze for the use of the emojis are because there are very less chances of miscommunication and misunderstanding of the messages in the real world. Statistics shows that the percentage of misinterpreting messages with emojis is less than ten percentage. We can say there is huge heuristic value among the peeps for emojis because emojis have developed to such an extent that people do not even wish people verbally or text alphabetically. Instead of saying Happy Birthday to someone people chose to send emoji which is pictorial form of a birthday present. There are emojis for almost all kinds of facial expression and moods a person can have. On the top of it there are emojis for wedding, engagement, monsoon, couples, in love, gifts and even haircuts. Many get excited when there is a release of a new kind of emoji. Many people converse online just for sake of the use of emojis and many converse by only using emojis. Sometimes there are replacements in emojis for making it better to understand and convey the messages. All these are done only when people are very much heuristic about anything. It has exceeded to a level where the judges and lawyers are being challenged by the use of the emojis. In some countries emojis are accepted as official form of a literacy. There are cases where people were sent to jail because they were charged for making threats using emojis. Messages that consists of emojis of weapons are considered as threat messages in many countries. There are many such cases in the US, New Zealand and France where many were sentenced to jail because they sent message to people with emojis of weapons. There emojis of many weapons such as guns, knife and bombs. The seriousness of the emojis have become more than that of messages with words. For an example to make the case about the seriousness of the emojis, the Supreme Court judge in America could decide about a will of a deceased. The deceased had mentioned his wife and his brother in his will but just before he died, the deceased had sent a text message to his brother quoting my will with a smiley. The confusion was that whether the deceased intended to kill himself. Emojis have found their way in to the corporate world as well. The new startups are using emojis in their mails and messages in the work place to make things cooler around the workplace. The managers get more connected to their employees with the use of the emojis. Startups also have many people with similar hierarchy among the employees so it is safer to use it and helps in creating a light environment at the workplace. The risk of emoji is that when it is used with unfamiliar personalities. Even if the emojis have grown to become a form of a language and almost all of them online use it but it could always be a potential using it with unfamiliar people. They might not be able to interpret the messages that is being conveyed and negativity can surround the people involved in the interactions. But once a relationship is structured between them then the use of the emojis is again as simple as it is. The use of the emojis has reduced the strictness among the parents. The use of emojis has made it easier for children to connect with their parents and at the same time the use of the emojis have made it easier for the parents too. Use of emojis in messages with person who is shy or strict or anything that makes the person hard to talk to makes easier to interact with such personalities. Emojis are often cast into different roles of diverse kind in a very social and organic way. The same emoji can change its nature from a symbolic icon to a nonverbal cue in order to convey the appropriate message to the receiver as in an exact way as intended by the sender. When the receiver encounters an unfamiliar emoji then they try find the context clues from the message contents and also from the interpersonal relation with the sender and the information. The heuristic level of people for the emojis has exceeded to a limit that they tend to find their own interpreted version of the unfamiliar emoji which they derive from their experience with emojis to be true and they seem to be really confident about it.