Messages of Hope

#forgivemoji

Published / by Sandy

Did you know there is a World Emoji Day (July 17)?
(Must ‘diarise’ it for next year!!)

There’s a kissing cat, an astronaut, a magnet and three kinds of vampires. The “tears of joy” and “blowing a kiss” emoji faces are the top two used in smartphone conversations. Other emojis in the top 10 are: smiling face with heart eyes, kiss mark, OK hand, loudly crying face, beaming face with smiling eyes, thumbs-up, folded hands and smiling face with sunglasses.

Emojis have wormed their way into our digital culture and our way of communicating with each other. There are now 3019 emojis approved by Unicode Consortium. More than 2300 of them are used daily. Over 700 million emojis are used each day on Facebook posts! When words fail or time is short, you can say most things by simply inserting an emoji. Over 900 million emojis are sent everyday on phones and social media – without any additional text.

A coalition of peace-building organizations in Finland has launched a campaign to crowdsource an emoji that symbolizes forgiveness. The idea was created by the Evangelical Lutheran church of Finland (ELCF), which is also one of the founding organisations of the #forgivemoji campaign.

The #forgivemoji team will urge managers of the emoji list at the Unicode Consortium to add the idea to the collection. There is currently not a single one relating to forgiveness.

Tuomo Pesonen, director of communication at ELCF, said:
‘We need an easy, compact way to express our feelings in situations where we are not able to find the right words. Emojis or smileys do not work properly in the context of serious crimes such as genocides or war crimes. But in our daily lives, we face often situations when such a small genuine gesture could have a great, refreshing impact. To apologize and to forgive are cornerstones for all kinds of peace with each other. This simple, easy emoji could challenge the depressing atmosphere of hate talk”.

The winning design will be chosen this month (November 2019). Watch this space!!