One of my very good friends put up a post on Facebook and I commented on the post; using a set of Emojis instead of writing out my thoughts. Firstly, I thought that the Emojis were a succinct way of communicating my thoughts on her post without being verbose. Secondly, I reckoned that it was a pretty cool and fun way to express what I was thinking at the time (Errmmm, so there is this fun side of me that loves all things cartoons/caricature and artsy).
A few minutes later on, a personal leadership coach/expert, turned friend, called my attention to what I had just done. He said he had observed that I seemed to have gotten used to commenting using Emojis and wondered why I would often choose that medium rather than writing out what I was thinking at those times.
He thought I had begun to use Emojis excessively. He was particularly concerned that as a writer, he thought that I would prefer to express myself in writing. He explained that my comments should primarily be for others and not for myself.
He also said that it appeared as though I was getting some sort of high from the use of Emojis.
Did he just say ‘high’?!
His submission was that a properly written out comment would help to avoid ambiguities and misinterpretations.
Ok, while I may admit that I enjoy and do get a kick each time I use an Emoji, I would not readily interpret that to mean that I was becoming an ‘Emoji-addict’.
However, in my usual fashion, I paused a while, to evaluate what I had just been told. Had I just been confronted with the truth and was I being defensive? Was I perhaps really slowly becoming lazy or was my use of Emoji clouding a deeper need or issue? I realized that because a lot of people do not like to read, my response to that challenge was to use Emojis which served as shortcuts. That is not to take away from the fact that I was also enjoying the use.
My Coach challenged me to do without using Emojis for a period of time; say one month. I accepted the challenge but not without recognizing the task at hand. For you see, like many habits, this might take considerable time to stop.
I understood his feedback to mean that there was a high probability that the precise meaning of the message I was trying to pass across may be lost since the same Emoji could easily be interpreted to mean different things to different people. So I told myself that going forward, I’ll be more intentional with my commenting; determining to approach it with a view of ensuring that I communicate both effectively and efficiently.
Beside the fact that I only spend little time on social media, I have struggled with that promise as the temptation to Emojis has become somewhat of a burden.