If you use a computer, tablet or smart phone, chances are you’ve used an emoticon or two. With simple keyboard strokes you can create all sorts of simple images to “emote” for you and share not only words, but your feelings related to those words (emotion + icon). As one who likes to find as much expression as possible using words, I of course was ecstatic to learn of this mysterious secret code that had lain untapped beneath my fingertips since freshman typing class. 🙂 (<this is me, feeling ecstatic)
But just as I was getting my emoticons down, enter the emoji, the emoticon’s new and improved cousin. Emoji aren’t just keystrokes that evoke symbols, but actual pictures of all sorts of things. I just took a quick look at some of the different faces that can be selected on my iPhone, among them:
Smiling Face With Open Mouth And Smiling Eyes – Grinning Face – Smiling Face With Smiling Eyes – Winking Face – Smiling Face With Heart-Shape Eyes – Face Throwing A Kiss – Grinning Face With Smiling Eyes – Pensive Face – Relieved Face – Disappointed Face – Persevering Face – Crying Face – Face With Tears of Joy – Loudly Crying Face – Sleepy Face – Disappointed But Relieved Face – Fearful Face – Angry Face – Pouting Face – Face With Look of Triumph – Sleeping Face – Dizzy Face – Smiling Face With Sunglasses – Astonished Face – Worried Face – Smirking Face – Expressionless Face ……….well…..you get the idea. 🙂
And faces are just the beginning! There are animals, foods, flowers, buildings, occupations, road signs, clothing, people, and multiple incarnations of hearts. So many ways to say what you want to say without having to actually say it! I admit to having fun with them, though. Sometimes I send Kelsey messages with nothing but emoji for her to decode like a modern spy to decipher a secret message like when I’ll be home and what we’re having for dinner. Could I just use words to convey the message? Well, sure….but then what am I going to do with all those tiny little pictures on my iPhone? =)
Then, there’s the hashtag. I actually have a Twitter account that a friend said many years ago was going to be “the next big thing.” I couldn’t understand why people would want to read the thoughts and comings and goings of people all through the day and night, but not wanting to be a complete tech dropout, I set up an account, and promptly……never used it. #IHaveTwitterButDontKnowHowToUseIt =0 But it’s OK, because you don’t even have to tweet to use the hashtag and have yet another method of saying what you think or feel without actually having to say that you’re thinking or feeling it. #ICanSayAnythingHereAndItsCoolBecauseTheresAHashtag
Then there’s the ultimate place for sharing all the feelings; Facebook. The concept of one place where people from all the different corners of your life meet up to check in is brilliant. We share pictures, puns and news of family events and the daily nonsense that makes up our lives. But on any given day, without exception, there will also be a post where someone is sharing a need, asking for prayer….sometimes truly in pain and it’s odd to see that kind of update sandwiched between a picture of dancing kittens and a birthday video, but it’s all there….an emotional rodeo in your news feed. I’ve tossed a few big ugly bulls into that arena the past two years, so I know the power of this medium to not only bring news and recipes but hope and healing to broken and hurting hearts as well.
So many feelings….good, bad, happy, sad, and the only thing they have in common is the desire to be shared. I think we just do better when we aren’t alone. I know I do, and all the emoji in the world can’t take the place of a good heart-to-heart with a caring friend. We need each other.
The last week of Jesus’ life, he spent most of his time with his disciples – his friends. He leaned on them, even when they didn’t comprehend his conflict and heartache. He tried to explain who he was over and over again, using different illustrations to try to help them understand. (If he could, he probably would have brought out a hashtag or two himself!) But I can’t help but wonder if, in his pain and unrest he also just wanted…. to be heard. Could Jesus have needed the comfort of friends and family as he faced the road to Calvary? Wouldn’t we?
I’m so thankful Jesus didn’t “ditch the plan” and take off as the pressure mounted. He loves us so much, he sees every tear and he hears each and every prayer. These haven’t been easy words for me to say for awhile, but my faith is being repaired – being renewed even through this Lenten blog where I have found a few friends who have been willing to not just read a title and pass by, but have chosen to pull up a chair, sit for awhile and listen. There’s not an emoticon big enough or an emoji expressive enough to say it for me, so I’ll have to resort to words. Thank you for reading and caring. =)