The first decade of the 21st century witnessed a pictorial turn in web communication: text blocks were replaced by vast arrays of images and videos. Gifs, memes and image-based social-media platforms like Instagram are only the tip of the iceberg. The most influential offspring of this new visual culture are certainly the ever-present emojis.
Why did emojis become so popular and what does this mean for the future of language and communication? How did emojis emerge and develop as a form of expression? Are emojis making us dumber? Can they ultimately replace language?
These are just some of the questions that author Jieun Kiaer tackles in this thought-provoking, interdisciplinary study combining semiotics, linguistics, sociology and psychology.