Linguistic Impact of Emojis in Online Communication

Ismail Siddiqui
IIT Madras, India

Volume III, Issue IV, 2020

The cute little emojis that we use daily in our conversations online have become an inherent aspect of casual communication on digital platforms. Originally an evolution from emoticons made of punctuation marks, emojis as pictographs were aimed to make digital communications more interesting. Due to the increased usage, they have acquired a complex role beyond the depiction of emotions and feelings. Just like human language, they are developing organic rules as they become a part of online written conversations of more and more people around the world. The paper attempts to explore the usage of emojis, arguing that their complex usage has led to various impacts in online communication, viz. emotive, phatic and ironic. It also analyses to what extent they are universal and are affected by cultural contexts. This is done by using the published studies about emojis in various contexts and domains as sources.