COLUMN: How To Dump Someone by emoji

Have you dumped anyone by Emoji yet? I would, but I can’t find the right one. Perhaps something like:

gunheart_429888a

would work? Or maybe:

bombsadheart_429891a

depending on how serious things had got.

In the digital world we’ve become far more callous. Our interactions are flip and brutal. Online we’re a Mean Girls version of ourselves. We send sarcastic texts, share plastic sentiments, un-friend people on Facebook, leave catty comments on YouTube. We make jokes on Twitter that we wouldn’t tell our mums.

At work we indulge in mild acts of digital passive aggression like power cc-ing our boss into emails. In our love lives we flick through dating sites like Tinder casting off potential lovers faster than Harry Styles gets through celebri-girlfriends. If once we were appalled by Phil Collins leaving his wife by fax, now I’d consider a text break-up polite. People divorce each other by Facebook and are fired by email.

Meanwhile, although publicly we express disgust at cyber-bullies and trolls, in private even the sweetest among us will take time out of our lunch break to tweet David Cameron and call him “dishface”.

Well, quelle surprise! Of course we are crueller digitally. It’s so much easier to be mean when only pixels are at stake. It’s indirect and impersonal. You don’t have to hang around to witness the consequences. The closest you’ll get to seeing tears is:

crycrycry_429890a

Technology, by distancing us, allows us to disengage from our interactions. Even more so when we’re talking to virtual strangers online; who it’s hard to conceive of as existing IRL.

A study by Keith Wilcox at Columbia Business School suggests one reason for our techno-sadism is the sense of entitlement we get from our online lives. The constant validation we gain from people Liking our Facebook posts and retweeting our inane comments gives us a Messiah complex that we’ll fight to uphold.

I suspect there’s another reason too. That, in a brave new superficial world, where we’re contending with thousands of daily interactions, experiences and cultures at a rate impossible to assess or digest, engaging unemotionally is the best way to survive. After all, if we’re meaner online, it’s not because technology made us this way. We did it to ourselves. Technology only determines our behaviour as much as we ask it to; we’re the ones who created these ways to interact.

And yet, just as technology was threatening to let us get really evil, we seem to have done a clever about-face. The advent of the emoji suggests something’s changing.

Cheeky, flirty and friendly emojis are no less snappy or crude. Instead they facilitate our brusqueness but they give it a light touch.

With them you can propose to someone:

heartring_429887a

ask them out for a drink:

wine_429884a

or remind them they owe you:

moneybags_429886a

(My friends and I have whole conversations like this.) Yet there is evidence that they haven’t made us softer: the first emoji death threat has been already been sent. (FYI, it looked like this.)

Emojis are clever because in a weird way they’re both an admission of how curt technology has made us, and a humorous attempt to mediate it. They’re like an insult, mixed with a kiss.

So if you haven’t dumped someone by emoji, I suggest you learn how. If the 2000s were ruled by emotional intelligence, then in the 2010s it’s the emojionally literate who’ll thrive.

thumb_429885a

READ THE FULL COLUMN HERE: http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/Magazine/Regulars/article1395070.ece

5 thoughts on “COLUMN: How To Dump Someone by emoji

  1. Bestpointandshootcamera2013.com

    Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you
    wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with a few pics to drive the message home a bit, but other than that, this is wonderful blog.
    A fantastic read. I will certainly be back.

    Reply
  2. water filter under sink faucet

    I drop a leave a response when I especially enjoy a post on a website or I have
    something to add to the discussion. Usually it’s a result of the passion displayed in the post I
    browsed. And after this article COLUMN: How To
    Dump Someone by emoji | KATIE GLASS. I was actually moved enough
    to drop a thought 🙂 I do have 2 questions for you if it’s okay.
    Is it only me or do some of the responses look as if they are left
    by brain dead folks? 😛 And, if you are posting on additional online sites, I’d like to follow
    everything fresh you have to post. Would you make a
    list all of all your community sites like your linkedin profile, Facebook page
    or twitter feed?

    Reply
  3. free music downloads

    Undeniably believe that which you said. Your favorite justification appeared to
    be on the net the easiest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I
    definitely get irked while people consider worries that
    they plainly do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and
    defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people could take a signal.
    Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

    Reply
  4. something random

    Great article. It is quite unfortunate that over the last years,
    the travel industry has already been able to to tackle terrorism, SARS,
    tsunamis, bird flu virus, swine flu, plus the first ever true global economic downturn. Through everything the industry has proven to be strong,
    resilient and also dynamic, acquiring new approaches to deal with hardship.
    There are generally fresh complications and opportunity to which the industry must all over again adapt and act in response.

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s