Photo: Courtesy of Alex Goldmark.
By now, emojis spill out of us with the same frequency as letters of the alphabet when we're texting. We couldn't even tell you the last time we bothered to write out "that sux." What's the point when the poop emoji says it better than words ever could? Spelling things out is still necessary, though. From basic "Where should we go for dinner?" discussions to more complex and nuanced issues, can a limited series of icons eclipse the entire English language?
One couple was game to find out. New Yorkers Alex Goldmark and Liza Stark spent an entire month communicating entirely through emojis and stickers from apps like WeChat. Before embarking on the experiment, they downloaded all of the symbols and pictures they could find. They also assigned themselves each an icon that would represent the pronouns "I" or "me." Beyond that it was anyone's game.
During their month of emoji-cation, confusion readily ensued when it came to things like grocery shopping and letting each other know if the other should come to drinks. After the month had passed, however, Goldmark and Stark both thought that eliminating written words actually altered their emotional vocabulary for the better. It also forced them to work together to build a visual language that only the two of them understood, which brought them closer together as a couple.
Listen to Goldmark discuss the experiment right here.