If someone had told me two years ago how much my wife would love using emoji, I would not have believed it. 😜😝😳
Because of this surprising love affair with sending pictures, we tried the Line messaging app for its strong focus on “stickers” (super-Emoji). “Line more, be closer.”
But no go: it’s a Japanese app, and 90% of the artwork is either surreal or harsh or both. Nearly every sticker set has drawings of someone vomiting, screaming, bleeding, or all of the above. What the actual fuck, Japan?
So Japan is a pretty repressive culture, at least in professional spaces. There’s a very tight range of acceptable emotional expressiveness. Emoji are like the whistle on a pressure cooker: OTT, because you’re showing your friend the feelings deep inside.
Also, Japanese has about 10-20% of the vocabulary of English. Think of all the words you can use to express ‘anger’. Now erase all of them, bar 2. Hence emoji.