Sticker shock

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?

A typical Line sticker. Apparently screaming is something a lot of people want to communicate by text message.
My friend and blogger Brian Lynchehaun had some interesting comments about this:

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.