We can all agree that emojis are terrible, right? I mean, except, of course, for my sister and sister-in-law, who are ridiculous human beings:
Emojis beyond the standard happy face, sad face and winky face are twee and pointless (is that a ski gondola above?), but even the basic ones are cryptic to interpret. Was the smiley face supposed to mean she thought my joke was funny or she’s laughing at the fact that I’m kind of a mess? I’m always asking myself. Was that wink like a friendly thing because he’s kind of a winker or is he totally being a creeper?
That said, it seems they’ve entered the cultural lexicon and are here to stay. I’ve found myself unable to function in polite society without them, despite my general distaste. So here’s what I propose: In order to clarify the situation and make things a whole lot less awkward for over-thinkers like me, everyone should have their own set of specifically defined emojis for use, and a key that can be easily referenced for clarification.
I put together my own personal set for example and to kick off what I’m sure will be a world-wide phenomenon.
Definition: I’m not sure I know you well enough to make that joke without any kind of an indication I’m not serious (interchangeable with: I worry you don’t have a sense of humor).
Definition: I feel like what I just wrote sounded unnaturally formal or harsh so I’m hoping this happy face will convey that I’m not trying to be a dick here.
Definition: Sorry I had too many cocktails last night and thought it would be funny to grab your boobs.
Definition: Oh, are we still having a message conversation? I totally thought it was over.
Definition: I can’t tell if you’re being creepy or just nice.
Definition: I just actually snorted at my computer.
Definition: I’m not really LOLing, but I can tell you’re trying to be funny and I don’t want to hurt your feelings.
Definition: Your story is a bummer.
Definition: Your story is a super bummer.
Definition: No, really, you have to stop telling me this story because it’s super terrible and I’m feeling completely awful for you.
Definition: You just complimented me and I’m usually super sarcastic, but I want to sincerely thank you and that’s weird for me, so I’m using this happy face nonironically. I feel incredibly uncomfortable about this entire exchange. Can we stop having it?
Definition: In case it’s unclear, I totally meant that the dirty way.
Definition: You’re one of those people who uses a lot of emojis, so I reciprocate because it seems polite and now I’m locked in a habit where it feels like if I don’t use one I come off angry or super serious and I don’t want you to think that’s what’s happening here.
Definition: You sent me an emoji and I’ve just spent the last 17 minutes trying to determine exactly what you mean by it, but now I’ve given up. Your thumbs-up guy with the heart eyes who is wearing a fez and petting a cat will forever remain a mystery.
Definition: Oh you’re the worst. STFU.
See? It totally solves the emoji problem. You’re welcome. Go forth and create your own.
(It’s like really hard to draw on your own fingernail.)