In the world of technology, all of us have been using many gadgets like mobile phones, laptops, computers, etc. These gadgets connect us all to the world and our loved ones. It connects us through social media platforms like WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat, Telegram, Facebook, etc. It is hard to express feelings in words every time, so the concept of emojis came up. In simple terms, emojis are a virtual visual depiction of emotions.
From where did the emojis emerge?
The first ever emoji was a smiley, which evolved into an emotion. In 1960s, it was the first expressive emoticon. A smiley is basically a yellow circle with two eyes depicting as eyes and a wide grin (Bai et al., 2019).
Emoticons were released in 1872. The standardized computer keyboards assisted in building certain expressions shown by a human during a conversation with the help of punctuation marks. In 1999, a Japanese originator Shigetaka Kurita published the first set of emojis. The word emoji is derived from the Japanese language. It signifies e as a picture, mo as a writer, and ji as a character (Bai et al., 2019).
Nowadays we use emojis daily for conveying the message ok with a thumb’s up emoji or heart-shaped emoji to show that we as a person liked it.
Does the smiley emoji always depict happiness?
According to a study done in Japan sending a smiley emoji might not always mean that the person is happy. Sometimes, the feeling of being depressed is also expressed by a smiley emoji. As we use facial expressions in a face-to-face conversation, likewise in online conversations emoji depicts the expression of the person.
Moyu Liu’s research:
According to Moyu Liu, as online socializing has increased people are more accustomed to the use of emojis as a medium of expression. Researchers found that using emojis is very similar to the way an average person depicts facial expressions, specifically Gen Z.
Every individual expresses their emotions in a different manner with different groups of people. For a while chatting with a close friend shows a freer depiction of emojis than in a group chat.
According to Liu, due to online communication systems people are detached from their own feelings and emotions. Like every study has its own limitations, this study also faced some limitations like cultural differences and use of emojis and facial expressions in one’s own style.