I shun modern gizmos. A new mobile phone gives me jitters. I am technologically and digitally challenged. Unlike Gen X and Gen Z that has grown up with digital technology, I was introduced to the digital world when I was well past my youth. No wonder, I find myself outdated in this E-era. I am wary of e-commerce. Unless I touch, feel and see any product, I can’t buy it. Though I have started using e-wallets, I am not comfortable with online banking. I have become accustomed to emails but my typing speed continues to be painfully slow.
I am lagging behind the younger generation in every field of technology, but one area where I can beat even the youngsters is WhatsApp.
On Facebook ,I am still a laggard . Instagram is the latest social media craze among the youngsters, but I like to swim in familiar digital space and am hesitant to take a plunge into uncharted territory.
Social media has introduced me to the world of emojis, the small colorful icons which have brought a revolution in the world of digital communication. I am smitten by the face icons expressing a whole gamut of human emotions. No need to bother about the correct grammar, struggle with the choice of words and type lengthy messages, emojis are there to convey the message and express my feelings.
I love to spice up my text with emojis but the variety is baffling. To add to the confusion, every digital platform has its own set of smileys. I find it difficult to choose from a sea of smiling, grinning, laughing, winking, frowning, crying emojis, and icons with sad, angry, surprised faces with their umpteen versions. My favourites have been folded hands icon, ‘Namaste’ and the original simple yellow Smiley, the happy smiling face but lately I developed a fancy for ‘heart’ emojis.
I started using heart icons, of various types and colours, with flair. When I was liberally and indiscriminately shooting a variety of hearts–pink, red, vibrating heart, twins, heart with a ribbon, my niece remarked, “Do you even understand what all these hearts stand for?”
No, I didn’t know that every heart icon has a different purpose and connotation. What a bewildering revelation !A sparkle heart means an honest appreciating heart, pink heart wrapped with ribbon implies being smitten with someone, heart growing in size implies outpouring of emotions like love and affection, two static pink hearts imply being super flirtatious and so on.
With all the gyaan, my soaring heart came crashing down, bringing an end to my love affair with ‘heart’ emojis. I felt embarrassed for randomly picking up a string of hearts, and shooting them arbitrarily at people.
At sea in the sea of emojis! Yes, I am with bewildering variety and their myriad interpretations. But I am wiser now. Think twice before clicking on these harmless- looking icons, for I am still not sure about their implication.
(Published in The Tribune as MIDDLE on October 25, 2021)