I see what you mean (or: The untranslatable yellow face of doom)

It’s been mentioned here before, the use of emoticons to communicate to each other, and questioning if this might be a new form of communication, a new language. As far as I can tell, I think the question has already been answered. It is a new language. It’s a technological-based de-evolution back to our wordless forms of communication, little yellow faces and animated gifs replacing our, what I imagine to be, caveman grunts and moans and ook-ooks. There have even been new keyboards developed, semi-replacing letters with emoticons on the keys.

Recently there have been several ads being played quite frequently on TV, selling some kind of cell phone or other, promoting the ubiquitous all-invasive presence of cell phones, pads, and screens, subliminally programming people into thinking this is how we should communicate – alone and behind some kind of monitor. I’m not an anti-technology person, not in any extreme way, you see, I understand and partly benefit from certain practicalities of technology at hand, but there is definitely a strong sense that all these toys and gadgets we keep buying into are changing the way we communicate and relate to each other – changing the way we exist.

There’s one specific new TV ad that, for me, borders on the creepy side. There’s a couple, not talking to each other because of an apparent fight, argument, whatever, moping around on their own at home, and they wordlessly make-up through their cell phones, using visual symbols. The creepy part comes in when you realize that not only are they still not really talking to each other, but they’re in the same house! Love and language through the cold mute blue glow of a screen.

What’s the logical conclusion here? Future generations devolving (or evolving, you decide) into a language made up of collections of little yellow faces, smiling cats, and thumbs-ups and downs? And if so, how do we translate it? Think about where all this can lead us, for there is more to come. To be continued…