Opinion: : ) and : D, you’ve been replaced!

Peyton Thomas, Staff Writer

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Remember the good ol’ days of sending emoticons made out of colons and parentheses? Sending smileys like this 🙂 or :D? There was even the famous XD. No matter how creative I could get while customizing an emoticon with countless parentheses and colons, I have to admit, these faces definitely lacked depth.

It was around 2011 when I was first introduced to the wonderful world of emojis. I looked down at my mom’s (who communicates in 90% emoji with her husband) phone and saw my contact name and a cute yellow smiley face with little heart eyes next to it. Who would have thought that my mother would be the one to introduce me to a trend that would soon become one of all smartphone users top forms of communication?

Back then, emojis were nothing but an app you could install on your iPhone 3G and enter as a new keyboard option. Today, emojis have become so popular, they are now a pre-installed setting on your keyboard for all iPhone users. Emojis have even developed into a LGBT-accepting community as well as a racially diverse app. Emojis will even have new icons on the iOS 9.1 complete with things like a taco (finally!), volleyball, unicorn, squirrel, and tornado.

While saying that emojis have become a popular language may seem ridiculous, I have to admit, emojis never fail to set the tone and ease you into a conversation, and I can not really remember the last time I texted someone without using emojis.

If someone responded to me with a message that said “K,” I would probably take it the wrong way, but if the K was sent along with an adorable emoji, the heavy “K” has been immediately transformed into a lighthearted message.

Snapchat has even adopted the use of emojis to keep track of your best friends on the app. The glasses wearing smiley face indicates that one of your friends’ best friends is also one of theirs, while the fire emoji counts how many days you have Snapchatted back and forth.

As society becomes more and more reliant on social networks, the use of emojis becomes more important to communication skills. No one I know really calls anyone on the phone outside of their family, and emails seem to be almost a lost language and are rarely ever used outside of school. But everyone I know, even my best friend’s grandma, incorporates emojis into their texts.

Whether using the emojis to caption my latest Instagram post with rainbows and stars, or watching a friend select which color heart, smirking face and hand holding couple to send to her boyfriend, text messages are way more fun with little pictures to go along with them.