Emoji Talk (or someone else talk for me)

The Condom Emoji

Durex recently launched a campaign and did their own research, finding that 84 percent of millennials would rather talk about sex through emojis. They proposed that the emoji library should include a condom emoji. 140 countries support this new movement saying that the condom emoji would decrease the amount of STI’s, HIV, and AIDS because people will be brave enough to send a condom emoji rather than say “I want safe sex.” They say that this is the only way that young people will feel comfortable “talking” about safe sex.

While this may be alarming to some who already think that relationships are heading South, it would seem that we are already there. People have started using an online company break up with their boyfriend or girlfriend rather than doing it themselves. This company, known as The Breakup Shop, sends letters, texts, emails, and even flowers to break up with the other for a mild fee.

The Breakup Shop website cover

“I can’t do it myself: Will you do it for me?” This is what Americans and people across the world are insinuating. We need someone else to break up for us. We need to use emojis to speak for us rather than our own words. Supposably we are becoming more independent and individual, but are we actually becoming more weak? Are we actually becoming stronger and inspiring others, or are we speaking from the voice of culture? Are we even speaking at all?

Speaking through emojis isn’t speaking.

History of Phone Communication

There is an alarming rate of change in relationship interaction: relationships themselves are changing. The ways to approach relationships are changing. Here’s a few statistics showing the steady evolution of communication through phones:

  • smartphone
    The first smartphone

    First mobile phone created in 1973

  • Voicemail launched in 1988
  • 1992, first smartphone introduced
  • Also, 1992 first text message sent
  • First phone connected to pictures, 1997
  • 1999: First emoji created
  • GPS inserted into phones, 2001
  • iPhone first released, 2007
  • 2015: Condom emoji pushed to promote safe sex
  • 2015: The Breakup Shop will send a breakup letter to your significant other for you

If you look at the dates above, you will notice that the first texting began in 1992. I would guess that the whole “break up over text” didn’t really start until the 2000’s. If my estimate is true (and it probably is) this means that within 20 years, we have gone from breaking up face to face (as it has been for thousands of years), to breaking up over text, to sexting, to asking a company to break up for you, to potentially using a condom emoji. This is an alarming rate of change. The speed of technology has caused Americans to want things fast and easy. Thus, we would rather send an emoji than say or even text what we’re thinking. Relationships have cheapened. We don’t know how to approach conflict or address hard issues face to face.

The Future

As we are becoming increasingly dependent on technology, I can only assume that the trend will continue. Industrial Design instructor Patricia Grullon comments on the future of cell phones and communication by saying, “I believe in the future, cell phones will become even more naturally in sync with our biological reflexes and processes such as eye movement, thought processes, kinesthetic, cultural preferences” It’s not just how the cell phone will change, “The question is, how will the cell phone change us?”

We have already been changed and shaped by the cell phone. The majority of millennials already feel more comfortable communicating about sex through emojis rather than actual words. In the future, people may rather communicate whole concepts in emojis rather than words. At the rate we’re going, we will be bound in communication by handheld devices, forgetting how to speak and address conflict face to face. We are becoming a people who speak without words: going back to the cave man days of grunts and pictures as our mode of communication. We must step up and learn how to express ideas and address conflict in a personal, loving way.

The Breakup Shop is always there though, if you ever need someone else to do what you should do yourself.