Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Emoji Emergence

Apple has just stepped up the texting game.

With the recent iOS 8.3 update, released on April 8th, Apple users are now able to choose from 300 additional emoji’s. If you're not technologically savvy, or do not own an iPhone, you might not have any idea what I'm referring to by emoji. An emoji is a small digital image or icon used to express an idea or emotion via text.

While something as simple as being able to send additional "little pictures" might seem irrelevant, Apple has now included faces with a variety of skin tones and same-sex couples and families.

Prior to this release, emoji’s were primarily Caucasian and featured solely male/female pairs. Now the LGBT community along with multiple races are available. This update diversifies the field and provides the user with options that suit them. 

Personally, I am ecstatic about this update. I found it mildly annoying prior to that I couldn't choose a girl that fit my hair color. I had heard similar frustrated accounts from my friends who are of different races. Everyone wants to belong, even if that means simply having an emoji that looks like you or fits your situation.

There is still work to be done by Apple, however, as the same-sex couple emoji’s don't have the option to select races. They are all a generic yellow color. If Apple decides to include a race option for these, as they did with all the other emoji’s, they will have to be sure to include mixed race couples as well.

For now, I applaud the company. Each time I click to use an emoji, I will be grateful that society is progressing and becoming more accepting of the diversity amongst us.