Virtual Emoji

Improve your social media presence with the latest development in emoji technology

Hey can you do me a favor? I need some bagels and I can’t actually move around much right now. Could you pick some up when you come over? [smiling face emoji}

You need bagels? Sure ๐Ÿ‘, how many and what kind?

Get me eight. Four garlic and four onion. Thanks!
[person bowing deeply emoji]

Ok, no problem 
 Though your emoji game is seriously lacking ๐Ÿ˜€

That just shows how little you know. My emoji game, as you call it, is far more sophisticated than yours. You are an emoji novice [smirking face emoji], barely above the emoticon level.

What are you talking about?

You are using simple pictographic emojis. Primitive. I, on the other hand, know how to incorporate the more nuanced virtual emojis into my writing. It’s easier and more expressive [fingernail-contemplating smugness emoji].

WTF is a virtual emoji?๐Ÿ˜•

It is a tacit emoji that simply refers to the little picture thingie without actually having to look it up.

Don't you have regular emojis? ๐Ÿ˜˜
 ๐Ÿ˜ฅ
 ๐Ÿ˜ช

I have them, but there are so many that they bewilder me. You have to hover the cursor forever to find out what each one means, and then it never turns out to be the one you want. I find it easier simply to type the desired meaning in brackets. The bracketed words then refer to the emoji, which in turn refers to the emotion in need of expression. The actual emoji is merely implied, never really used. Think of it as para-semiotic writing.

Ok now I understand. You got a nap and I didn't.

Virtual emojis work just as well as the real ones, and you save yourself a lot of trouble by not having to search for them every time [flustered man looking through open file cabinet emoji].

That emoji doesn't exist! I'm not sure about the fingernail one, either.

That’s an additional advantage of the technique. You can use brackets to refer to emojis that havenโ€™t been invented yet. No need to wait [time waiting for no man emoji]. Virtual emojis just bypass the need for a picture entirely. They let you express emotions that are too subtle or that might be difficult to represent with pictographs. For example [schadenfreude emoji] or [penis envy emoji].

You know, you might actually be onto something.

You can combine virtual emojis with pictographic ones or with each other to make compound emojis. Then you can express ideas that are even more complex! [you ๐Ÿ› me emoji]

Are you coming on to me?๐Ÿ˜š

๐Ÿ˜Ž

I think virtual emojis are even better than the real ones. There’s actually no need to use the silly pictures anymore. We could just string virtual emojis together like words in a sentence and communicate that way.

That's an incredible idea! It could revolutionize the way people use Facebook!๐Ÿ™„

It isn’t really my idea. It dates back to the cavemen.

Cavemen invented virtual emojis?

Sure. They invented words so they wouldn’t have to draw pictures of everything in the dirt [man with stick scratching picture of attacking tiger in sand emoji].

I see.

But seriously thanks for picking up the bagels [man eating lox with onions and cream cheese on toasted garlic bagel emoji].

No problem. So, how come you can't get out of the house?

[mouse in shower ๐Ÿ˜ฑ slip โ™ฟ๏ธ emoji].

The Metaphysics of Facebook

Informational Satori is upon us. We can all leave, now.

Dried flowers on the beach

Some people post stuff eighty times a day on Facebook, you get buried under their pictures of babies and food, their petitions and political outrage. Some people hardly ever post: once a year, someone tags them at a barbecue. I suppose I fall somewhere in between. Mostly I keep stuff to myself, because I figure no one gives a shit anyway. But every once in a while, I am motivated to share something or other that resonates within my particular universe.

These posts occasionally provoke a few comments, but sometimes they do not. My universe resonates differently from every one elseโ€™s. Perhaps someone is lurking, reading with indifference or even disdain, insufficiently moved even to Like. Or maybe thereโ€™s no one there at all.

The internet encourages us to surround ourselves with spheres of interest which become more narrow and exclusive with time. And as we age, as our friends dwindle and die, those that remain go their own ways into their own spheres. Perhaps there is no longer any overlap. At first, I despaired at this thought.

I asked myself, if I post something on Facebook and no one reads it, did it really happen? Or is it, like the tree falling in the forest, some sort of Schroedinger conundrum into which my life has fallen. I can look and verify that the post is there, of course, but maybe thatโ€™s part of the same hallucination. And if you were to look, you would play the role of the cat, reducing possibilities.

But then I realized that this open-ended flow is, in fact, a sort of informational satori: information for its own sake. The info-verse swirls around me, and I seek silent illumination, no longer burdened by the need to actually interact with others. As more and more of my posts elicit no response, I approach digital Nirvana.

People โ€” Friends โ€” are no longer necessary. We live in a world where I can post a message that no one will read while, at the same time, a marketerโ€™s robot caller is leaving a message on my answering machine that no one will listen to. The informational loops exist without us, and will continue to exist long after we are gone.