Currently being touted as a modern day version of the Egyptian hieroglyph, emojis have come a long way since the simple smiley face.
With over 700 characters and rising now available in the core set of emojis we could be watching the written word becoming slowly extinct.
One small symbol is said to be capable of depicting a subtle range of messages all at once, and with the popularity of Botox, who wants to bother struggling with actual facial expressions when we can get our favourite little cartoon to do the emoting for us?
In fact the emoticon might even surpassed the human body language repertoire.
While US psychologists have recently discovered 21 different facial expressions that all humans use, the emoji appears to provide a core selection of over 40.
One symbol is said to be able to replace dozens of characters and there’s nothing the modern communicator likes more than speed and precision.
But while we wait for the emoticon to take over from the written word a majority of us are limiting ourselves to the use of a handful of favourites, which means they are a habit, and nothing is more revealing than a habit that involves the random selection of a symbol or two.
Think your emojis are just a bit of fun? Here’s what they are really revealing about you and your personality!
THE TEMPURA PRAWN
Of course it’s tempura isn’t it? After all, an elitist like you would never settle for scampi in a basket! The prawn motif is angled at presenting you as funny in a rather smug, sophisticated kind of a way but that old tempura shows you’ll only settle for the best and are far from being a cheap date. It’s a mating call for the sushi generation and although you might play at being down to earth and a lover of random humour you are also a teeny tiny bit of a snob.
You probably started out by putting a kiss as a sign-off to your messages but now it has graduated to a full-blown heart, which you probably also signal with a hand gesture every time you take a selfie or by yelling ‘love you!’ down the phone as you finish a call. The idea is to show you as cuddly, adorable and generous of spirit, but in fact these hearts actually suggest a huge amount of vulnerability and fear of rejection. You go through the world like Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music, firmly believing that projecting love willy-nilly will keep you safe and popular, hence the fact that this heart is also rather shield-like in shape.
THE COCKTAIL GLASS
You see your life through rose-tinted glasses, imagining some kind of a Mad Men or – god help you – James Bond-esque sophistication and sexuality suffuses everything you do. This symbol is a knowing wink to the slightly decadent side of life, suggesting a good amount of your business networking is done after hours and from a bar stool. You see yourself hanging around cool venues in Shoreditch but your co-workers might just see you as the one who comes in with the epic hangovers. Either way you’re probably naughty, sexy and a bit of a risk-taker.
This symbol suggests facebook pages dedicated to holidays and parties, making you seem like someone who works to live rather than the other way round. You might also be a control freak though, as this is a very dominant symbol that was often used by historical leaders/kings like Louis XIV to suggest absolute power and brilliance. You like to be seen as charismatic, flipping from charm to control mode in a bid to get your own way in the workplace.
THE THUMBS UP
This is a symbolic gesture that is almost universal as a signal for ‘all’s good!’, meaning you’re keen to promote an air of positivity, but in a rather bloke-ish, down to earth way rather than skipping about singing with joy. Despite this being a sign of approval it’s not really a happy gesture, hinting that things are ok right now, despite earlier or ongoing struggles. This means you do see your job as something of a daily grind that is peppered with hard-earned achievements. Either you take life rather seriously or you’re a bit of a cynic, and you might just revel in what you see as your working class roots. Power to the people!
THE FLAMENCO DANCER
Flamenco as a stand-alone symbol suggests you are dynamic and a battler but with a big sense of the absurd. With her arm raised, the dancer is indulging in pit-baring too, which is a form of put-down that suggests a dominant personality who is not afraid of using conflict to get what they want. However this dancer has no face or hands, which takes the analysis onto a whole different level. What do you have against hands and faces? In-depth therapy might help!
THE CLASSIC SMILEY
If you’re using this to signal a genuine smile on your messages you’re a bit of a softie and a traditionalist who enjoys all things retro, mainly because you felt happier and safer back in the day. You’ll change to keep up to speed or even power ahead in your job but in your social life you adore laughing about old times with friends you’ve had for years. Family is probably one of your greatest values, although your softer side means you’ll struggle to cope when any sibling squabbles break out. If you’re one of the smiley face users who employ the symbol ironically, i.e. after telling someone off or even dumping a lover though, you’re a bit of a sadist who enjoys grinding your heel in to what is already a painful situation.
THE GRITTED TEETH FACE
This is a complicated expression, with the elongated mouth forming something akin to the kind of stretched social smile we tend to use when we’re under pressure and dying of boredom. The teeth are very visible though and they are clenched tight. Teeth-baring suggests a snarl, and clenched teeth shows tension, meaning this mouth expression should be symbolic of an animal about to attack. This suggests you feel cornered or under what might be unbearable pressure and although you’re signalling mock-annoyance to the recipient this Emoji could also secretly be the equivalent of waving a white flag in a bid to get help.
Oh you’re in love and keen to show it even if it makes you look like a bit of a dipstick! Soppy-in-love would be the title of this Smiley and the fact you would send it to someone you admire might suggest you have a massively juvenile approach to life, sex and love, alongside a rather childish sense of humour. Animals use pseudo-infantile posturing to avoid being attacked and killed so it could be that you feel vulnerable to attack yourself and taking pre-emptive steps to avoid it. This could be a sign that you should examine your romantic relationship in more detail. Is trust an issue for you? If not, why are you trying so hard to look cute and vulnerable?
THE PILE OF POO
You’re seriously un-serious and someone who likes to be known for their ability to shock and take risks. This emoji is funny but not to everyone. It’s hard to gauge exactly who will find a pile of poo symbol hilarious and who might be disgusted or even insulted by it. In work you are known as someone cheerfully controversial who will speak their mind most of the time and worry about the consequences later. In your social life you’re the edgy, funny but slightly quirky one who used the daring route to getting others to laugh and have a good time. You have a warm heart and a hatred of all things pretentious but at time you know you can take things a little too far, meaning apologies might be in order the following day.