Decoding Emoji

the new apple iOS whiskey emoji. on the rocks.

New EMOJIS! New little images for us to use when words just don’t do it. I wonder if a future society will look back at this batch of Apple emojis and wonder what the hell we were trying to say? Recent phone software updates makes it much easier to emoji-fy, offering a pictogram for words you type, next to where the correct spelling of the word should be.

But back to the emojis. Apple added a cute little fox face (wonder what she says?), bacon (like what took them so long?), a Vespa and two fingers of whiskey in a glass.

I’m not sure if they added any new flags. I’m not so good at flags. I don’t usually use them. They didn’t have a burning American flag, though. I checked. But after my review, I’m wondering about what seems a worrisome subtext. A subtext of worry, if you will.

My uneasiness sensors were piqued as I swiped past dozens of round yellow faces emoting emoji-style emotions. And, in the midst of yellow dots, I saw a creepy clown face. I had to look twice to make sure it didn’t disappear. Seriously, this is the stuff nightmares are made of; a creepy clown assaulting you from within a sea of seeming normalcy. Who decided to add a creepy clown?

I began looking at the new emojis with a more discerning eye. I saw a black heart and a wilted flower. There was a yellow emoji with a black hat. You know, the man with the black hat. Not known as a good guy, AKA the bad guy. Oh, and a shark. A big one. I could hear the strains of the Jaws theme and wondered if I was going to need a bigger boat.

I was unsettled by an erupting volcano and what looked like an asteroid with a flaming orange tail, heading toward our planet, ready to destroy life as we know it. Or maybe it’s an image evoking our new president-elect’s hair. Same result.

There was a disembodied arm (a zombie?!?) taking a selfie and someone throwing up. That combo seemed right. Is Apple trying to manipulate us into being more frightened? More off of our game? What’s their game? Were they infiltrated? Figuring out the meaning in these new images makes me feel like I’m Kremlin-watching. Up for interpretation, but with a big dose of suspicion.

I can’t unsee these disturbing images. There is no going back. So here I am, hit in the head with the reality of the emoji hard knocks life. Can I uninstall the ones that scare me? Or, if that’s not an option, can I at least drink the whiskey?

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