It took longer than usual because of pandemic delays, but the new emojis have finally arrived on your devices. Apple released an update for iPhones yesterday which included 117 new emojis for 2020. To get all these for iPhones, you gotta update your iOS to 14.2

The update includes things like a yellow smiley face in Groucho Marx glasses, a ninja, a toilet plunger (just in time for the holidays?) an actual human heart, and tamales (again, just in time for the holidays?)

If you have an Android phone, you should already have these too as they've been rolling out over the past few months.

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This got us to thinking – “Who is in charge of emojis?” and “What’s the point?”

A little digging found that emoji’s were created by and are managed by The Unicode Consortium, which was incorporated in California in 1991.

The Unicode Consortium (Unicode Inc.) is a non-profit based in the Silicon Valley in Mountain View CA. It’s purpose is to publish the “Unicode Standard” which was developed with the intention of replacing existing character encoding schemes which are limited in size and scope, and are incompatible with multilingual environments.

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In other words, they are creating a universal language. Which they are making inroads in. At this point, you just might be able to plop yourself in the middle of Italy and be able to communicate with someone without the use of both of your native tongues. Think about that – was this even a possibility 30 years ago?

The folks who are running this are the ones running big tech – Apple, Adobe, IBM, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Netflix, and many other tech products you use daily.

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Like many things in Big Tech, this brings up many questions. Will this eventually replace spoken language? Is this a lazy way to communicate? Does this elevate us as a people? Will this erase individual cultures? Are emoji's “dumbing” us down? Is this too casual? Maybe it’s just fun to speak in emoji!

All good questions. Questions we need to ask ourselves. I guess the best response at this point is ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

 

All My Best,

The JimShow