Monday, August 10, 2015

Emojis: A Tutorial

Photo Illustration by: Zohar Lazar,
Do you use emoji?  Do you even know what they are? Not to worry, here's what you need to know.

e·mo·ji ēˈmōjē/ noun - an emoji is a small digital image or icon used to express an idea, emotion, etc., in electronic communication.
A BRIEF HISTORY: The "birth" of emoji is credited to Shigetaka Kurita, an employee at the Japanese telecom company NTT Docomo. In the late 1990s, the company was looking for a way to distinguish its pager service in a very tight market. Kurita hit on the idea of adding simplistic cartoon images to its messaging functions as a way to appeal to teens.

HOW THEY'RE USED: Emoji are used to illustrate, and/or replace words we send each other digitally, (in text messages, emails, or tweets). While originally developed for the Japanese market, they're now available on smartphones and more. According to Adam Sternberg ("Smile, You're Speaking Emoji") emoji are now used more frequently on Twitter than are hyphens or the numeral 5.

In 2013, in response to the question “Do you use stickers or emoji in message apps?” 74% of people in the U.S. and 82% in China responded that they have. (Stickers are a kind of faux emoji—things like ­Seinfeld Emoji or the ­“Peanuts” characters you find on Facebook—that you can send using certain apps but that aren’t baked into Unicode.)

EMOJI 101:

Emoji are used to represent emotions; people; locations; events; sounds; touch; foods; entertainment; poop; and at this point just about anything that can be simply represented by an understandable icon.

Most people start their emjoi messaging with emoticon emoji - emoji representing their feelings/emotions.  Here are a few examples:
  • Smiling Face 
  • Smiling Face With Smiling Eyes 
  • Grinning Face 
  • Winking Face 
  • Smiling Face With Heart-Shaped Eyes 
  • Kissing Face 
  • Kissing Face With Closed Eyes 
  • Face With Stuck-Out Tongue With Tightly Closed Eyes 

  • House With Garden 
  • Convenience Store  
  • Ghost 
  • Money With Wings 
  • Chart With Upward Trend

BUT these are the simpler ones and just the tip of the ice burg.

Here are some "People" options:
Here's a selection of emoji:

The website Emojinalysis will track your recent emoji use to analyze your emotional well-being.

Resources to learn more:

As always, thanks for the visit.
While I still need to download my emoji - I'll stick with text.
Please leave your own emoji or text reactions in the comments below.


  1. That was interesting heheh! I agree too that was fun :-)

    Have a emojitastic week and thanks for your visits :-)

  2. I think that at least the wink emoji addresses the possibiity of being misunderstood in email/FB communication


  3. I think that at least the wink emoji addresses the possibiity of being misunderstood in email/FB communication


  4. This was very educational. I always thought they were simply called "emoticons" but what a great lesson!

    abcw team

  5. What a lovely post for this weeks letter!

    I know them but don't use them on my blog. i do use them im WhatsApp ;-)

    Melody (abc-w)

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