Now playing on VOD (Video on Demand), and other streaming services, is the interesting documentary Emoji Story.
I never thought that I would use emojis. When they first came about, my kids were crazy about them (they still are). Not me. I considered myself “old school,” whereas I would rather type out an actual word than use a silly little graphic. I can’t say the same thing now. I do use emojis. I still prefer using actual words, but there are times I prefer to use an emoji. For example, when I am at work and I’m thinking about my husband. I am not really suppose to be using my phone, so I’ll just shoot him a quick text with a heart or smiley face, just to let him know that I love him and I was thinking about him.
My kids use emojis too much if you ask me. They will make “sentences” out of nothing but emojis. While I do think I am on top of current things, there are times I simply cannot decipher what in the world they are saying to me (using nothing but emojis), so I have to text them back with the message “use words!” so the know to reply using words, not all emojis.
Did you know that the word “emoji” in Japanese means “picture character?”
Emojis were first created in 1997 in Japan by a man name Shigetaka Kurita when he was only 24 years old. Back then there were only 176 emojis (that look nothing like the emojis we use today).
Kurita created emojis to make people happy and help people to be more expressive when they were texting others.
Kurita’s original emojis were (or perhaps still are) on display at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York City.
Fast forward to today – there are over 1,100+ emojis. WOW!
A new documentary that is now available on Video on Demand and other streaming services, The Emoji Story, gives the history of emojis, who is in charge of emojis, and what the future of emojis entails.
I found the documentary very enlightening. For example, I always wondered who approves and develops new emojis. I honestly thought it was an Apple thing, but it’s not. The people in charge of emojis is the Unicode Committee. The Unicode Committee is comprised of people from many major companies including Apple, IBM, Good and Facebook, to name a few. Their main function is to make the world’s languages work on different devices, but they are also responsible for approving new emojis.
Emojis were added to the responsibility of the Unicode Committee back in 2010. It doesn’t seem that long ago, but look how far emojis have come over the past decade.
Did you know that skin tones were not added to emojis until 2015? I thought it was longer than that. I’m surprised it took that long.
In addition to the history of emojis, this documentary highlights three sets of people who wanted to get new emojis approved.
- A 15 year old teenager who wanted a emoji wearing a hijab.
- A group of people who wanted an emoji to represent the menstrual cycle (period)
- Ladies who wanted an emoji for mate, and important drink in their culture (Argentina), as well as other cultures around the world.
It’s interesting to see the process they have to go through.
There are literally thousands of new emojis introduced to the Unicode Committee each year, but only a handful get approved.
Personally I think there are too many emojis. It’s hard to find the one you want when you have hundreds to look through. I think they should do away with lesser used emojis in favor of new ones.
Overall I found this documentary very interesting. I even shared some of the things I learned with my husband (he didn’t watch it with me). He thought some of the things sounded really interesting too.
Below is the film’s trailer for your enjoyment.
*I received a free screener in order to review this film. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.