The first ever emoji was created in 1999 (but it took ten additional years to take the western world by storm) by Shigetaka Kurita, a Japanese designer. In an interview he gave to CNN in 2018 Kurita announced that ‘the heart one is my number-one favourite emoji, because among the various emoji, (its meaning) is very positive.’ What’s your favourite? Since their initial release there have been multiple additions to the line-up.
In 2015 we finally got some more diversity with new skin tones and same-sex couples being included. This was then followed by pride flags and single parent emojis in 2016 in an attempt to be more reflective of the world we now live in. There is already buzz surrounding this year’s new releases with speculation surrounding gender-neutral persons being added to represent a wider spectrum of people!
While emojis are undoubtedly fun and creative to use they also perform another function, they help us to connect. There is an ongoing discussion surrounding whether technology has left us all feeling more disconnected than ever. We are consuming more content than ever before and are consequently, finding it harder to decide what deserves our attention.