A Picture’s Worth 3-4 Words

Rebecca Wong laments that there are no emojis for blind people.

Rebecca Wong laments that there are no emojis for blind people.

“Is anyone still at UTS? I left my bag there loudly crying face loudly crying face.”

My friends tell me I’m emotionally stunted. You would be too if all you had to express yourself in text messages and on Facebook were half-hearted approximations of emojis dictated by a speech synthesiser in place of cheery, crappy pictures.

My emojis are read by a genderless robot with a perpetually jaded inflection and a truly stupid understanding of the human face.

“I’ll see you soon face with wide open mouth and squinting eyes.”

See how effortlessly the feeling carries.

Is my friend happy to see me? Or is she contorting her features into an anatomically impossible grimace at the prospect? She might just be looking at something in the middle distance. Maybe I’d rather not know.

I can’t even discern the difference between a “sort of unhappy face” and a “vaguely unhappy face”. This may be the reason for my many, awful dates.

The obstacle is alienating enough that I’ve started appending disembodied thumbs and :)s to every message. I can’t see them. It’s a weird textual tick, a simulacrum of human affect. Third-hand feelings, passed from person, to phone, to emotionally challenged android, to emotionally challenged me.

Is this love?