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Are Emoji Taking the Emotion Out of Our Communication?

A few weeks ago, after I said goodbye to a friend who was moving across the country, I texted her an emoji of a crying face. She replied with an image of chick with its arms outstretched. This exchange might have been heartfelt. It could have been ironic. I’m still not really sure. It's possible that this friend and I are particularly emotionally stunted, but I put at least place part of the blame on emoji: They allowed us to communicate without saying anything, saving us from spelling out any actual sentiments. It’s no surprise that millennials have embraced emoji and their pixelated cousins, emoticons. Ambiguous, superficial and cute, they’re perfectly suited to a generation that sends Hallmark e-cards ironically, circulates step-by-step guides to “being deep,” and dismisses “deep meaningful conversations” as “DMC’s.”

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