Images express more than words. But do they really? Does that apply to emojis too? It seems so when you consider how our communication nowadays has been infiltrated by smiley faces, animated GIFs, acronyms and memes. In fact some people react and communicate almost exclusively with emojis and funny little pictures from the internet.
Have we become so tired that we don’t want to type anymore? Is it too complicated to find the right words? Or have we simply run out of them? Is this new kind of inter-human exchange progress? Or are we becoming more primitive? Is it appropriate to respond to a devastating fight with a friend with a frowny face?
“Our faces have become yellow smileys devoid of actual emotions.”
In a world where everything has been thought, said, seen and written before, we have resorted to a digital slang that seems to reduce us more than augment us. Our voices have turned into speech bubbles with three dots in it, our faces have become yellow smileys devoid of actual emotions, our feelings have been reduced to either “like”, angry comment or ignorance. Our physical existence is now merely a red location needle on a map.
But if our language is losing its words, how are artists supposed to write their lyrics? You can’t really sing with emojis, can you?
Róisín Murphy, former member of Moloko, addresses our contemporary world of digital slang in a new video called “Whatever”. It is a visual masterpiece about our modern image-based language, full of text bubbles and emojis. The song has a somber tone, as if such communication leaves the singer with much to be desired. She still sings in actual words, by the way.