With texting being the primary form of communication for teenagers and young adults, it only seems fitting that Apple routinely updates and adds new icons to their iPhone’s emoji keyboard. Recently, there was a new update that added some new food emojis in addition to providing clarity and brightness to the other existing emojis. The great thing about emojis is that they function as a method for including emotional context in a text message. Some people dislike texting as a form of communication because of how impersonal it can be when compared to a phone call or handwritten letter. However with the surplus of faces, you can let the person who you’re communicating with know exactly how you’re feeling even though they’re unable to see your face.
The primary form of communication between me and my boyfriend is texting. Even though I enjoy talking with him on the phone, texting is the most viable option because of his work schedule. If you were to look back through our conversations, you would see at least one emoji in every sent text. Our top five emojis are: 😍😉💜😘😂. That list should tell you that we enjoy laughing together and expressing our love for each other, even when we’re apart. It wasn’t until today, during one of our conversations, that I had a sort of “emoji epiphany.” In one of the texts he sent me, my boyfriend used the 🙏🏻 emoji. In his text, he used that emoji with a religious intent to accompany the word “blessed.” After I read his text, I remembered a friend who once told me that this emoji was supposed to be used to symbolize a high-five.
That high-five/praying hands emoji got me thinking about the power of perception. When I first saw that emoji, I saw a pair of hands praying. Then I thought if I wasn’t Catholic and saw that emoji for the first time, I probably would’ve described it as two different hands participating in a high-five. My interpretation of that emoji was based on my personal experience with religion, but someone else’s interpretation could have been based on how they interacted with or congratulated their friends (doling out high-fives). Everyone perceives life differently, and sometimes those differences can cause stupid arguments. Only a clear path of communication can correct the destruction that perception causes from time to time. It’s amazing how something so simple like the 🙏🏻 emoji gave me such a profound realization.