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Infiltration of emojis

Posted by Mum About Town
Mum About Town
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on Wednesday, 01 July 2015
I'm a little bit concerned about this overwhelming infiltration of emoji. These weepy/winking faces, clapping hands and dancing women have taken over our heads, words and minds. Even those with ridiculously high IQ seem to be substituting curious pictures for wordy description and true emotion and, to be honest, I'm wondering if this can end well for our world at large.

Emoji first entered our vocabulary in the mid 90s. A Japanese tech developer dreamt up the colourful team way back in that pre-iphone-era. Of course there really wasn't much demand for the technicolour smiley face cult before we had the tools to litter them. Now billions of emoji are flung through the ether each year and I'd say that we're now pretty symbol obsessed.

On any given night out, Mini (back home) can send me anywhere in the region of 50 little characters (via email) to express her love and longing. I return around 30 of the damn things hoping that this will coax into putting down her screen and placing her head on the pillow.

Instagram is infested with the latest craze of these pictograms. Thumbs up for something impressive, fire for this heat wave, ice-cream at the ready and any assortment of multicoloured hearts to tie in with real words, an image or both.

So, should I be concerned? Is it not enough that we now dream in photographic squares, communicate in status updates and tweet more than we speak? Instead of finding the words, we seem to reach for the icon. I'm all that smiley faced with tongue hanging out about the emotionless-emoji thing.

Insta-love NOT Insta-hate

Posted by Mum About Town
Mum About Town
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on Wednesday, 09 April 2014
I know I’m meant to hate Instagram. All those #perfect lives documented in each #perfect square. But I just can’t. Instead I. Love. It. The social picture-sharing website makes me laugh and admire in equal measure as it rolls out varying degrees of smugness, clever captions and artistic prowess. I suppose, for me, it’s like delving behind the scenes on a glossy magazine shoot or jumping into a food photographer’s kitchen… really, honestly not quite as offensive as many are making out.

So I’m here today to defend my sepia-tinted friend to those insta-haters:

1. You say you hate selfies. Well, my response would be to look at the extending arm needed to snap and you’ll start to find them pretty amusing.
2. You say it gives you food envy. But does it inspire you to cook something? Or even give you a sneak preview of what your long-anticipated dinner at Chiltern Firehouse might look like?
3. You say perfect children are nauseating. I say it’s a moment in time, relax.
4. You say they over-share. But their constant need to update doesn’t need to be connected to your constant need to observe. Control your insta-urge!
5. You say it makes you GREEN-EYED. Don’t be ridiculous. Their lives through 70s rose-tinted glasses, cropped to perfection and edited till bliss aren’t real.

My last piece of insta-advice is to choose carefully who you follow, enjoy the real artists out there and relish a pretty nosy insight into curiously documented lives. I certainly do.

You can read more musings from Emma at

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