The world of emojis is pretty fun. It’s a shortcut to how you’d like people to know how you feel. Whether it be a public post on social media or via private messages, its evolution is not stopping. It was in the year 1995 when texting became a thing; people had to deal with the symbols on their phones to form faces. Smiley was the most common one but then came an angry face, a smirk, a crying face, and so on.
Nowadays, a mere misuse of emojis can cause a lot of misunderstanding. If you’re someone who spends most of your time scrolling through Facebook reels or TikTok, you probably came across a clip of a grandma and his grandson’s iMessage conversation about his grandson’s dog that just died. It may be a funny clip, but the message was well conveyed.
You might have asked this yourself, is an emoji the same as an emoticon? Which came first? Let’s find out.
You will see that these two are comparable if you check out an online dictionary. Emoticon focuses much on the face, while Emoji goes beyond that. Hence, we can say that one is just a child of the other. Emoji is the evolved version of Emoticon since it is no longer limited to just facial expressions and the use of complex codes as opposed to the limited ones during the earlier era of text messaging.
Some earlier models of mobile phones embedded these emojis in their systems. The very first set of emojis, for instance, was publicized in 1997 along with the release of J-Phone’s SkyWalker DP-211SW. Those emojis, however were unlike the ones you see on your phones today. They lacked color and were pretty limited, so they did not do much.
Since not all phones were built the same, compatibility issue was very common during the early days of texting and emojis. What you sent as a smiley face or an icon expressing your emotions may just appear as blinking boxes on the other end. This was pretty common among the earlier models of Nokia phones.
Thanks to its evolution, emojis are now accessible to everyone regardless of what phone unit you have. This is possible due to the more advanced operating systems that were not available before. One can now express their opinions and suggestions by just reacting to a poll; that’s pretty convenient. The era of compatibility issues is long gone and in 2013, another important celebration in the virtual world was born -World Emoji Day.
Among the emojis that were created, the heart emoji is probably the one that’s greatly used. When expressing your approval, it can easily replace the like emoji since it looks better. Compared to it, the like emoji seem like you just acknowledged something and don’t care about it at all. Depending on the context, though, the heart emoji also now comes in different colors, each with its meaning.
A yellow-colored heart, for instance, is greatly associated with friendship. A black heart, on the other hand, is used to express when someone is undergoing sadness and sorrow. Yet of all the heart colors, one of the less popular is the white heart which was only added to the community of emoji users in 2019.
When trying to understand the meaning of the colored heart emoji, it would be best if we first understand the meaning of the color behind it. For instance, a black heart became associated with the Black Lives Matter movement which became very popular due to the several instances involving black people in the US.
When it comes to the color white, though, a lot can be associated. Gone are the days when the white color is pure since we now all live in the world of context where anything can be interpreted differently. It can mean simplicity, but for some, it can mean emptiness. For some, the white color can be associated with innocence, while others think of it as cold.
Since the white color can pretty much be interpreted differently, the white heart emoji can pretty much mean anything. As a color that symbolizes pureness, it can be used to symbolize the love parents have for their children. However, when used in context, it is mostly used when expressing affection to social media post that involves white objects.
Being vague and the last addition to the colored heart emojis, one might ask, can this be used to express love and affection towards the opposite sex?
Gender differences can play a great role when it comes to the meaning and interpretation of things. When it comes to the context of love, the white emoji can mean pure love and emotional support toward someone which is why it is often associated with parents’ love for their children.
If you’re a guy however and you expressed your feelings toward a girl, and you received white emoji as a reaction, this can be bad. It symbolizes vagueness, it can’t even be a confirmation if she loves or likes you back. By meaning, it can mean emotional support so it’s a nice way of saying you’re not rejected, but you’re not accepted either. This can mean “I love you as a friend” or “I treat you as my brother”.
On the other hand, a girl’s interpretation can be different. For someone who’s in love, a heart is a heart regardless of color. So, if a girl proposes instead of the guy and receives a white heart as a reaction, it can be interpreted as the guy’s pure love toward her and can mean acceptance. The next line of the conversation will determine that, but you get the point.
Girls and boys will never think alike so next time if you’re trying to express your opinion and it involves love towards the opposite sex, a red heart or a black heart can be more appropriate.
Everything is relative, and shapes and colors can be interpreted differently depending on the situation and who’s doing the interpretation. A constant check on how you’d want others to perceive your reaction is imperative. An emoji used inappropriately can end a long-term relationship between friends or it can open up new doors for love or something deeper and more intimate.