For humans, pictures have always spoken louder than words. In our first civilized societies, everyone from the Mesopotamians to the Egyptians started using images to tell their stories about life, death, and epic hunts long before they developed words.
And when ancient cultures did start to create language, pharaohs, scribes, and high priests would still find ways to work images into the hieroglyphs or painted hides that served as texting back then. Judging by the translation of hieroglyphs understood today the cobra crown was the coveted “cool boy with sunglasses” emoji. In fact looking through ancient symbols you might even find some familiar icons…Worship hands back then were represented by…wait for it… worship hands! Some emoji symbols were designed more than 5,000 years ago!
Fast-forwarding about 5,000 years, our current emoji craze started in the 1980s when computer programmers started using emoticons to tell jokes on message boards. Then, in the late 1990s a Japanese mobile tech employee named Shigetaka Kurita invented emojis for a new platform because he thought it would make communication quicker and easier. Once Apple incorporated emojis into early Iphone keyboards, it was a wrap. Emojis became part of our world and changed communication forever.
A few ways emojis have changed the way we relate to each other:
- 76 percent of people use emojis in business communication
- There are 2666 emojis as of June 2017; 56 more, including a coconut and a vampire, are said to be introduced by the end of the year.
- Studies show that emojis help people process intense emotions and can improve mood.
- Speaking of mood, for children, a study found that interpreting emojis helps them express their mood better. For example: Pop Quiz: is that flat-mouthed emoji bored, lonely, or just deep in thought?
Want to get in on the emoji craze in a fun, interactive way? Have your kid express her innermost thoughts and feelings by picking up the 8-pack of Townley Girl’s Emoji Moisturizing Lip Balls. They’re sweet smelling and offer a great variety of emoji classics.
Fun playtime tip: Arrange emojis in a pattern to send secret messages to each other!