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by Angela Maiers

Celebrating the New Literacy of Emotion

 Emojis: I get it. They are silly little things; so easy to mock until you use them and understand their true power. 

 Think for a minute about life B.E. (Before Emoji’s) Have you ever written an email or text that was perceived the wrong way due to lack of human emotion? Or maybe you have received a text and had trouble trying to decipher exactly what the sender was trying to get across? The way we write something and the way another will read it based on their assumptions oftentimes makes the message we are trying to get across very different from what we mean. THIS is one of the many reasons #EmojisMatter.

 Emojis and Emoji Literacy (thank you Dominoes) have become a staple of our language, culture and identity. They have the power to express tone, sentiment, and emotions that can not be communicated as powerfully or accurately with words alone.

 When we write or speak to someone in person we use tone, body language, and facial expressions to convey our message. Emojis give our virtual communication this meaning, tone, and emotion. They allow us to add a secondary layer to our messages, one that helps the receiver understand what we are trying to get across. Emoji matter because they give us the ability to transform the way we communication virtually.

 Like other forms of literacy, emojis:

  1. Help us understand and comprehend others words and messages
  2. Help us translate and share what we perceive that understanding to be to those we seek to communicate with
  3. Most powerfully, help rally others around that message

This is why I am so thankful for my friends at BitEmoji for their “YOUMATTER” emoji; where we can remind ourselves and others that we do matter; that we are powerful beyond measure and are needed by the world. 

 Seeing thousands of you exercising your voice, your presence and power  (Remember Literacy is not reading and writing; it is about power and privilege) in this way has been one of the most inspiring things I have seen in a very long time.

 So, if you have not made your voice known “emoji style”--you can do so here, and share it with me on Facebook or Twitter with the hashtags #Choose2Matter  #EmojisMatter

 I can't think of a better message to rally others around; can you?