Don’t speak fluent emoji? You’re not going to last very long on this planet. Derived from the Japanese words for ‘picture’ and ‘character’, these strange little hieroglyphics have become as much a part of our lives as the alphabet. Hell, maybe they’re even replacing it. When a new batch arrives, it makes headline news. Take the ones confirmed for this year: Bearded Person, Breastfeeding, Exploding Head. And along with World Emoji Day (July 17), there is even a film about them: The Emoji Movie, out in August, stars the voices of Patrick Stewart as Poop and James Corden as Hi-5. But have you ever thought if our Frequently Used feel the love? What they’re thinking? (Yep, this is really happening…)
The literally LOL-ing tears of joy
“C’mon! Bring it on! When something happens that is laughable, hilarious or just the best thing ever, I am there. Every single freakin’ time. It cracks me up, you know? This morning an air hostess called Sadie in Croydon sent ten texts of me in a row, creating a mega screen-grab for Jerome – that guy she did not mean to give her number to in the bar last night after six Mojitos. Date him? Don’t make me laugh, she just destroyed him! Who needs the flame emoji to burn when you’ve got me?
And forget Cats Of Instagram. When it comes to Comedians Of Instagram, I am clogging up those threads like a virus. Who was on James Corden’s replies 57,684 times before 9am? You got it in one. But I’m totally here for the little people, too. Moronic morning greeting from your boss? Report it verbatim to your WhatsApp group with me alongside. Forwarding one of your mum’s texts to your best friend? Count me in. Cat-dressed-as-Donald-Trump meme? I’m so on that.
I don’t want to show off, but statistically I’m the most popular. In a global survey of emoji use in 427 million messages, guess who came top? Yours truly. Except don’t talk about France. Because Heart and Heart Eyes are coming up behind me there. And, while I’m here, why does Cara Delevingne have to use Face Throwing A Kiss in her actual Insta biog? Yes, her biog! Let’s not go there. Who’s number one, remember? Yes, it’s me. Mwah! Guys, you’re making me cry again.”
The breezy out-of-office palm tree
“Chill out, people. Take it easy. Think cool, laid-back times. Use me to say ‘Out of office’, ‘Upgrade’ or ‘I am on holiday and you are not’. That’s what I’m here for. Even if it’s raining where you are, use me and no one will ever know.
I just want to say two words: Amy Schumer. She has used me today, just as she does every day. Only singular use, though. None of that digital overload rubbish, putting 56 emojis when one palm tree standing alone and proud will do nicely. No, sir. Use me single and alone to indicate how nonchalant you are about being in a tropical location. I am not for the people who would overuse those cheap cocktail emojis to indicate that they are in an all-inclusive resort. So tasteless. Next thing those losers will be using Champagne when they’re not even drinking Champagne. Embarrassing, man.
Any time a celeb is shooting a movie somewhere above 15°C, those dudes will bust me out. Tom Hiddleston on location in Hawaii for the new King Kong film? Ker-ching. I am on every text he’s sending out of that dump. And don’t get me started on how much Brie Larson has featured me in her Facebook updates. It’s enough to make my leaves blush.Sitting in the first-class lounge before your flight? Throw me in there. Caribbean yoga holiday for the first time in your life? Whack me out. Ray of sunshine lasting 13 seconds in Skegness? We can
do ironic. It will be our secret.”
The wacky WTAF winking ghost
“I am your kerrrazy friend! You don’t have to be eccentric to use me, but it helps. Because I’m bonkers. I’m here for when you’ve done something you weren’t supposed to, but you’re kinda proud that you did it anyway. Like a renegade pirate ghost, you know? Halloween craziness year-round. See? Wild. I used to be an annual one-hit wonder, and then Khloé Kardashian put me in her Insta biog – twice – and things have just gone bats**t. (Khloé is totally krazy, right?)
Most days I’m pretty busy dealing with #sorrynotsorry non-regrets from the night before: ‘Too many Jägerbombs again, oops’, ‘Did I do what I think I did?’, ‘Lost count after the third bottle’, ‘Where are you?’, ‘Where am I?’, ‘Whose number is this?’ – I will have racked up hundreds of thousands of appearances before you can say, ‘Hangover breakfast’.
But I like it best when people use me as an insult, next to someone’s face. If you knew how many women text pictures to their mates with the words, ‘Just woke up next to this…’ and lil’ ol’ ghost-face here alongside some guy they picked up, you’d be shocked. You only have to open Snapchat to see that I’m literally haunting that place, saying ‘Hey, boo’ or that you’re dying with laughter. This morning, a girl in Leighton Buzzard used me to indicate that she had given up smoking – ‘No more fagz eva again.’ Whether you want to say ‘half-dead’ or ‘cray-cray’, I am here to serve.”
The totally burnt-out millennial avocado
“I’m new here and I’m tired, so tired. Why won’t people just leave me alone? I’m not ready for this. I just want some time to myself to ripen. Do you know what I mean? One minute I was a prototype in Apple’s secret emoji offices, known only to an elite handful of guacamole fans. Now I’m pulled out every time there’s a vegan brunch. And let me tell you, there is a vegan brunch everywhere these days.
Amsterdam? 184.5 million uses this morning. Paris. New York. Shoreditch. Your dad’s Waitrose haul. I’m probably heading towards my billionth use on Twitter in the past 24 hours alone. Why is no one bored of sharing news of my soaring imports to China or the shortage of me in California or the avo-only bar in Brooklyn? I didn’t ask for this. Why me and not Carrot over there?
Do I really want the hashtags #antioxidant and #superfood next to my face the whole time? No, I do not. I wish I had never heard of the Hemsley sisters. Do I want to star in your team breakfast’s Insta post about avo on rye? No. Do I want to be in the Tweet of Katie from Chicago when she says, ‘I really am the best me when eating avocado toast’? No. Do I want to sit next to the Chocolate Bar and Banana in this humiliating display of facts: ‘Avocados, chocolate and bananas are all known to increase sex drive.’ No, no, no. Once I was hip, now I’m nearly as over-exposed as Aubergine. Use Doughnut instead. I’m begging you.”
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