Millennials have once again taken technology to a new extreme.
First it was, LOL, ROFL and OMG. How often are people literally rolling on the floor laughing when they use this expression? Exaggeration seems to be a popular problem among millennials, and we are seeing it more than ever in terms of communication.
Now, it’s emojis. In this day and age, everyone is grasping for the next extreme. Some people don’t know how to use emojis in moderation and it’s a problem because it creates a degree of lying. The overuse of emojis are similar to boy who cried wolf scenarios.
For example, if I always used the embarrassed emoji for enhancing a text, people would think I was constantly humiliated. No one would understand when I was truly embarrassed.
Another example is someone who constantly uses the laughing emoji . If he or she uses it in every text, am I to assume they are laughing at everything? I will never know if he or she is actually hysterically laughing if I am not there to witness it myself.
I’m not talking about replying with too many emojis in one text. Certain situations call for an ample amount of font-sized pictures enhancing what you are describing. “Let’s go to the beach today. (insert bikini, sunglasses, palm tree, hat and seashell emoji).” There’s nothing wrong with that whatsoever. There’s relevance in the emojis used, which makes the text aesthetically pleasing and therefore heightens the overall emotion of the sentence.
The overuse of emojis becomes a problem when people exaggerate the situation.
For example, “OMG, I totally was sticking my tongue out in a selfie (insert eight laughing-so-hard-you’re-crying emojis).” The situation described is not funny enough for one of the cry-laughing emojis, let alone eight.
“I really don’t want to go to work today (insert bawling emoji).” No one literally cries before they go into work, and if they did, they should look for a different job. People feel the need to emotionally heighten everyday life events with numerous insertions of the same emoji. What they don’t realize is that one will suffice for most situations.
Emojis are perfectly acceptable for Twitter, primarily because the social media site limits the amount of characters per tweet.
For example, a tweet could read, “College (insert graduation hat) are having trouble with (insert moneybags symbol) because they can’t find jobs.” This replaces words with symbols, allowing for more text in the tweet. It’s completely relevant and a factual situation. No exaggeration is in the tweet because the emojis are all used appropriately.
As for professional situations, such as business emails or texts, emojis should be an obvious no-no. I know I’ve heard professors briefly cover that it is considered faux pas. I’ve seen the explanation in textbooks as well. The rule to skip emojis in business emails is anything but unwritten. However, people continue to do it.
The only explanation I can come up with is people are comfortable with texting and emailing, and when things become comfortable, professionalism tends to fly out the window.
In short, when in doubt, leave (too many) emojis out.