I am conversant, mostly, in one language: English. I speak a smattering of French, a few phrases in German and Spanish and a couple of words in Mandarin and in Italian. But a true conversation with me can only be held in one language. But there is another language that is becoming incredibly popular throughout the world. It is being adopted by young and old and used with wild abandon. I feel ignorant and uneducated because I don’t speak emoji. I know that sounds silly, I know what a happy face means. And I can figure out what praying hands are meant to imply. But I get thoroughly lost when there is a row of six or seven of these emojis and I seriously don’t know what’s been said.
I have a university degree, several college certificates and many decades of reading almost 100 books a year but I cannot fathom emoji’s. I look at my air conditioner and they’re using universal symbols to explain the workings of the machine. Why can’t they just use on/off. That I can understand. On this device they use a circle with a dot in the centre and a line through the top. What! It looks like a fried egg with a piece of toast standing up on its side. I used the manual to find out what it meant. It’s the on switch. I understand that not everybody around me speaks English and I am all for diversity and sharing but I’m getting a little frustrated not being able to read the simplest things because I don’t speak in symbols.
Symbols are, well, symbolic. They give a deeper meaning to something, perhaps metaphysical or spiritual but the very least, meaningful. 🕰😎🥐🍏☂︎〄🐝 So what did I just say? It’s OK I have absolutely no idea! I was just taking pretty pictures. I admire people who can string together a sentence using symbols. It is a skill I do not own. I’ve always loved how people can read hieroglyphics. Another skill I do not share. I have never been particularly good at puzzles either.
We live in a world that is far too often mired in misunderstandings. Even if we speak the same language, we don’t always understand each other. And because we live in such a fast-paced world, we don’t take the time to find out. As pretty as the emoji’s are, if they make you smile then that’s a good thing. But if you want to say something meaningful to me, please use letters. Those I can usually decipher, if they’re in English.
my emoji: I’m outta here!