World Emoji Day: When and why is it celebrated?

World Emoji Day: When and why is it celebrated?

It is known that the digital age is here to stay, and along with it, the endless options to communicate through our mobile or computer. Within the range of possibilities for dialogue in a virtual way, it is the social networks that have burst onto the scene and changed all precedents for how people relate to each other at a distance and through a screen, especially with emojis.

In that sense, emojis play a very particular role in virtual and digital communication, since with a single touch or click, you can easily and concretely express an emotion, an act, or a certain situation; beyond the interpretation that each individual can give it from the personal.
But first of all, what is an emoji? Here I will quote the RAE:

Emoji, from Jap. emoji, and this one from e ‘drawing’ and moji ‘character, writing sign’.
A small digital image or icon used in electronic communications to represent an emotion, object, idea, etc.

A little history about the emoji

Before entering the giant world of emojis, it is important to go a couple of years further back in time, and saturate ourselves in the 80’s, the era of emoticons.

What is an emoticon? Let’s go back to the RAE:

from English emoticon, and this one from emotion ‘emotion’ and from icon ‘icon’, infl. in your tea by icon.
A symbol made up of keyboard signs, which represents a facial expression and is used in electronic messages to express the sender’s mood or the tone of the message.

Who has not ever expressed joy through the sign 🙂 to indicate joy or has used 🙁 to indicate pity?

And here is a name that played a key role in establishing the foundation for the use of emoticons, and I am referring to Scott Fahlman, a computer scientist who published a curious message in the Carnegie Mellon University newsletters.

In 1982 there was Arpanet, a platform where academics sent messages to all the people who were part of it. A kind of social network in which advertisements full of sarcasm were posted, an issue that more than once caused problems among the members of the site, so, to counter these misunderstandings, Scott decided to invent a symbol to identify what was a joke and what was not.. This is how she realized that if people turned her head it was possible to create a face using the two points as eyes, a minus as a nose and a parenthesis as a mouth.

He then wrote a note to everyone saying: we can use this symbol to mark jokes 🙂 and this one 🙁 to indicate what is serious.

It was like that then, as something both simple and practical, it gained strength and opened multiple possibilities to add a new way of communication.

From there we jump to the year 1999, when the Japanese telecommunications company NTT DOCOMO released the original 176 emoji for mobile phones and pagers. Designed on a simple 12×12 pixel grid by Shigetaka Kurita, emojis enhanced the visual interface of DOCOMO’s devices and facilitated the rise of the fledgling practice of mobile email and text messaging. Drawing inspiration from various sources, such as manga, Zapf’s dingbats and commonly used emoticons (simple faces made from pre-existing glyphs), Kurita’s set included illustrations of weather phenomena, pictograms, and a number of expressive faces. Simple, elegant and incisive, Kurita’s emojis planted the seeds of the explosion of a new visual language.

Although there are records prior to Kurita emojis, in 1997, when J-PHONE’s DP-211SW mobile phone was released, it already included a set of emojis.

Correcting the Record on the First Emoji Set
Lenovo on Twitter: "On this day in #smarterhistory, the first phone with emojis was released.  The SkyWalker DP-211SW influenced many of the emojis we use today, although some were tough to decipher.

In fact, Kurita himself tweeted in January 2019 that

“The first use of emoji on mobile devices in Japan was a pager, but on DOCOMO mobile phones it was not the first, I think it was the J-PHONE DP-211SW”

When and why is Emoji Day celebrated?

Since 2014, every July 17th World Emoji Day is celebrated; event that is lived mainly on social networks, with Twitter being the platform that usually has the greatest role because of their hashtags #WorldEmojiDay Y #WorldEmojiDay that users use to indicate which are their favorite and most used emojis on a daily basis. In fact, there is a certified account that, unsurprisingly, was opened in July 2014: @WorldEmojiDay.

The reason for celebration?

And here is another relevant name: Jeremy Burge of Emojipedia, who founded the unofficial celebration in 2014, choosing July 17 as the annual date. Are they from what? The truth is that Burge’s real reason for founding World Emoji Day is unknown, but it is related to the need to be able to remember the importance that symbols have in current communication.

Such is the level of importance given to this topic, that there is an Emojipedia blog that keeps you up to date with everything related to the world of faces. Oh…, and also an Instagram account: Emojipedia. An entire empire, that of emojis.

But why on July 17?

The choice of this date was due to the fact that it is the one that appears in the emoji that the main platforms use in their calendar icon.. In fact, Apple was the first to use it in 2002, as the icon of its iCal calendar application, which was presented precisely on July 17 of that same year.

Unicode, the body in charge of accepting and validating all the emoticons that we have on our devices, included the calendar emoji with the date of July 17, 2010 in version 6.0 of the list. That’s right, you read that right, there is a body in charge of giving the green light or rejecting an emoji… How are you?

The most used emojis on Twitter

An analysis carried out last February of this year by the Crossword Solver site, yielded several interesting data. For example, in South America, Guyana and Bolivia lead the national pride, each tweeting their respective national flag more than any other emoji. While Chile, if it were for the emoji, we would be quite a country. good PA’ Laughter.

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