How World Emoji Day 2018 became the most trending thing on social

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The contemporary world celebrates various 'special days'. Be it Valentine's day or Mothers Day, they are celebrated as a mark to display certain exclusivity and to signify the importance. However, certain people critical to this popular culture believe these are merely GDP enhancing initiatives, designed to make you spend in the name of an emotion that you just discovered. 

Taking it a notch forward, the world is celebrating 'World Emoji Day' today. 

World Emoji Day is an unofficial holiday celebrated on July 17. The day is deemed a "global celebration of emoji" and is celebrated with emoji events and product releases. Celebrated annually since 2014, it is Twitter's top trending item on July 17, 2018. 

Brief history

World Emoji Day is "the brainchild of Jeremy Burge" according to CNBC who stated that "London-based founder of Emojipedia created it" in 2014.

The New York Times reported that Burge created this on July 17 "based on the way the calendar emoji is shown on iPhones". For the first World Emoji Day, Burge told The Independent "there were no formal plans put in place" other than choosing the date. The Washington Post suggested in 2018 that readers use this day to "communicate with only emoji."

The emojis were invented in Japan in 1998 by Shigetaka Kurita on behalf of a Japanese mobile phone operator, the word “emoji” essentially means “pictograph.” 

Most popular emoji

Google stats reveal top smileys used worldwide. Here is the list: 

(Photo: emojipedia Twitter)


Guess the smiley game on Twitter

As a mark of celebrating World Emoji Day, Twitter is all flooded with the guessing game. Twitter handles are putting emojis as a cue to guess a word, movie or a situation. Here are some of the examples of the fun game:


Question 3 is our favourite! Can you guess this burgers name? #WorldEmojiDay #ContestAlert

— McDonald's India (@mcdonaldsindia) July 17, 2018


How is Apple celebrating World emoji day

More than 70 new emoji characters are coming to iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac will be launched in a free software update. The new emoji will include even more hair options to better represent people with red hair, gray hair and curly hair, a new emoji for bald people, and new smiley faces that bring more expression to Messages with a cold face, party face, pleading face and a face with hearts.

More list of animals will also be included including kangaroo, peacock, parrot and lobster, with the addition of new food emoji for mango, lettuce, cupcake, moon cake and other popular items.

Thousands of emoji are currently available on iOS, watchOS and macOS, including emotive smiley faces, gender-neutral characters, various clothing options, food types, animals, mythical creatures and more.

Apple launches new smiley to celebrate World Emoji Day: Here's a gif

How are emojis affecting us?

As smileys and emojis have become a parallel language in the mode of virtual communication, there has been conflicting notions regarding emojis. Their popularity has surged especially among the millennials and Sony Pictures even made a full length animated movie on emojis.

But, there are different schools of thought regarding the role of emojis.

According to a research paper submitted by Nicole L Bliss-Carroll of Gardner-Webb University highlights the role of emojis. The roles and characteristics of emojis are rapidly expanding within computer-mediated communication spaces, forcing many to acknowledge their seemingly inescapable social influence as tools of digital written communication.

Within cultural discourse, various theorists and researchers including Adam Sternbergh, Shao-Kang Lo, Vyvyan Evans, Steven Heller, and Katy Steinmetz have characterized them as annoying cartoons, nonverbal cues, paralinguistic icons and universally-recognized communication forms. Some, including Steinmetz and Evans, understand their importance and suggest they have the potential to become a new universal language. 

Others are less convinced of their value and are seemingly annoyed by their presence, calling them “an itchy rash”. To view emojis through a one-dimensional lens is to completely underestimate their ability to serve as signifiers of emotion, clarifiers of intent, and even mediators of self-identity, writes Nicole L Bliss. These colourful, contemporary icons—which became widely available through a range of global, technical platforms in 2011—convey interpersonal emotional expressions in a much more sophisticated manner than their charming appearance initially indicates.

Like it or not, emojis and smileys have become quite relevant and something with which you can convey a certain meaning with an added ambiguity. 

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