There’s a part of me that wants to write more about Brett Kavanaugh. But I won’t. One post was enough.
There’s a part of me that wants to write in solidarity with #metoo and with women across the country. But I don’t know what to write. There’s precious little that I (as a white, straight, cisgendered man) should really say about this. I’ll share a few memes on Facebook, but apart from that I really have nothing to add.
There’s a part of me that wants to write something really snarky about the presidential alert that hit all of our phones today. But I won’t. Buzzfeed will have lots of them curated before long, I’m sure.
So I’m going to write about something stupider, but oh so important. I’m going to write about how much I hate emojis.
In brief, I HATE EMOJIS.
I think they are the worst thing to happen to the internet. They are the ugliest, nastiest, grossest things I have to look at. They’re not language. They’re not communication. They’re not clever. They’re not fun. They’re not a return to hieroglyphics or pictograms. They’re just garbage.
Stuff like this. 🧀🍘🍜💓💘🎅🚜🚒🎃🎆🛠⏰🌗🌠🦄🐞👁
Good God. What is that. That’s the first time I’ve ever used the built-in emoji keyboard in Windows 10. HOW MANY EMOJIS ARE THERE. Hold on.
According to emojipedia shudder, there are TWO THOUSAND AND EIGHT HUNDRED AND TWENTY AND THREE EMOJIS. Let’s put that into perspective. There are 26 letters in the Roman alphabet. The longest alphabet there is (Khmer) is 74 letters long. There are 44 phonemes in English, that is, forty-four distinct sounds that can be made by letters or combinations thereof. The !Xu language uses 141 phonemes. The best I can find for the total number of phonemes in the world is 2000. Isn’t that enough? Apparently not. EVERY POSSIBLE SOUND THAT A HUMAN BEING CAN MAKE is smaller than the number of emojis.
Wait. Let me check out hieroglyphics. Egyptian hieroglyphs had a total of one thousand distinct characters. So I guess we’re now more than twice as sophisticated as the folks who built the pyramids.
William Shakespeare used 26 letters to get his point across. Fyodor Dostoevsky used a few more: 33. Plato made do with 24. THE GOOD LORD HIMSELF USED ONLY 22 WHEN WRITING THE OLD TESTAMENT.
I cannot believe there are over 2800 emojis. That is seriously blowing my mind. I have now been alive for 15,632 days. That means that if I wrote one emoji a day, from the day that I was born, I would only be on my sixth iteration through them. If I grew wings, and started flying due west from my house in Pennsylvania, dropping one emoji on the unsuspecting people below me once every mile, I would be over the Pacific Ocean before I was done. If I watched one episode of the 55-year-old TV show Doctor Who for every emoji there is, I would have to watch each episode, including the 97 missing episodes, 3.36 times. Hmm. Actually, that doesn’t sound bad. I probably saw the Tom Baker episodes that many times a year as a child.
BUT THAT’S NOT THE POINT. DOCTOR WHO IS NOT GOING TO SAVE US FROM EMOJIS. Look, emojis are not the devil. I know there are worse evils in the world than these pixelated pains in my eye. And I know that there are things worth getting more upset over. This is no injustice. But I so much wish that I could stop seeing them. I know I can turn off the emoji keyboard on most of my devices. If I don’t want to use them, it’s easy. But I also don’t want to see them. And I have been googling for months trying to find a way to prevent them from appearing on my screens. Can I delete a font? Can I change a setting? Can I perhaps just smash something? It might even be worth jailbreaking my iPhone to bring in an app that will HULK SMASH all the emojis, and turn them into old-school emoticons.
Ah, yes. Emoticons. I was at college in the mid-90’s. Email and the web were just getting started back then. Those were the days when emails were filled with cute little things like 🙂 and 😦 , or 🙂 and 😦 if you like noses. (Of course, depending on your system, you may see little images there, but rest assured, I only typed colons, hyphens, and parentheses.) Some of them got really clever, like:
B-) (he’s got sunglasses on)
:-Q (he’s smoking a cigarette)
I had no problem with emoticons. Why? I don’t know. Maybe they’re just more working class than emojis. You have to work to make an emoticon, and you have to work to interpret it. Or maybe I’m just being whiny about the “good old days.” Oh, I don’t want to be like that. I’d be glad to give up emoticons if it meant I could give up emoji as well. But I suppose the only real solution is to turn off my devices. There are no emojis in the real world. I could walk in the woods behind my house, and any poop I find there would be from a deer, not this garbage:
Ah, forget it. I went to find that stupid “poop emoji” in my keyboard, and just got fed up. You know the one. And if you don’t, then GOD BLESS YOU.
So I guess I have to make a decision: keep living online with Facebook et al., and see these things that MAKE ME SO MAD; or turn off the devices and go play in the woods. Hmm.