Some economists will tell you that emoticons have been invented to extract personal data by quantifying emotions for the purpose of selling them to businesses. Some sociologists will tell you that they are convenient devices to improve non-verbal communication.

Most friends will tell you emojis are no big deal, that they’re cool to use. ‘What’s the problem, dude?’

I’ll tell you, on no authority whatsoever, that they are either the ultimate revenge of the Egyptians or Disney’s victory over Shakespeare, Goethe and Voltaire. That we are on the glideslope to reducing language to picto-syntactical rules (there have been some remarkable results already), and the catalogue of human emotions to an emoji folder. Paul Eckman would ask, why a folder and not just a dozen, anyway?

The tyranny of the reductionist pictogram (not to be confused with the magnificence of picto-/ideogram-based scripts) carries with it the emotecstatic worship of the Yellow Face. Our lazy hands and overloaded brains will slowly give in to this new temptation, and fill the page with yellow heads.

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