Prompt – Jan 12

What emoji(s) do you like to use?

First of all, all of them.

They have the ability to confer joy or happiness in a way an exclamation mark doesn’t or can’t (as the standard-bearer of excitement in the punctuation world). They also can convey sadness, weariness, anger, annoyance, and frustration. But my favorites are the happy and gratitude-laden ones. These are the ones I use in work Slack the most.

My top favorite for a long time now is Sheepy, also known as Party Sheep.

Sheepy is just being Sheepy, and with Sheepy comes smiles and happiness, rainbows and a carefree willingness to scamper across the page. Sheepy doesn’t have a thought in it’s head, but has a lot of joy to share. Love it. A+ emoji.

Another top favorite (perhaps tied neck-and-neck with Sheepy) is Piggy.

Piggy is overtly happy to see you, like a puppy. Combined with the lolling tongue and the hopping, this pig is a delight and is bringing you happiness in his lil pink existence. Another A+. Can’t be improved.

On the next tier of favorites, we have rainbow walk. It is exactly what it says on the tin.

This one is a bit sophisticated, with the way the rainbow walks, the colors moving forward (and trailing behind) – it’s overall well constructed. And it’s still joyful and fun. I give this one an A, because it’s more restrained (and I like my emojis to be boisterous).

My final non-standard favorite emoji is dancing bear.

It doesn’t necessarily look happy, but I get a happy, eager vibe from it. This bear has done something and is excited for you to know about it. A perfect mix of a 6-year old ready for praise, and an adorbs stuffie. Good on ya, dancing bear, I’m proud of you. A.

I like to use these particular emoji in celebration, to tell people good news, to thank people, and to acknowledge content with a bit of joy. As a professional woman in the workplace, I don’t tend towards sparkly pens or feathery notebooks, or girlboss merch. I tend towards these tiny squares (or lozenges, whatever shape Slack tucks them into) of personalized connection with what someone else has said. In a fully distributed environment, the words on the page are what are most important to our work, and being able to say “I have heard you” in a way that feels both satisfactory and kind matters to me. As does injecting the occasional emoji to illustrate the tone I am taking in a message of my own (often, crying laughing 😂, because I’m a woman Of A Certain Age). Emoji give me a chance to smile in my words more often than I do in my actual physical self (because of my resting face), and through and past all the jokes about us returning to hieroglyphics, this layering of meaning is, well, meaningful.

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