I Second that Emoji

Photo by Steve Buissine via Pixabay

There is no doubt that every generation has had its own learning curve when it comes to the advances of the human race. Each generation reminds the next generation of how hard they really had it when they were growing up and how easy this generation has it now. I know that I am biased but in my opinion, my Baby Boomer generation has had to grow and change at a faster rate than any previous generation and the culprit is technology.

My children laugh at me in disbelief when I tell them that as recent as the 1980’s we had to get up off of the couch to change the TV channel with a nob on the TV that went up to ten numbers although we really only had about 5 channels. They chuckle to hear of pay phones on the street even though those rusting hulks can still be found on street corners or that it was an amazing invention to have machines answer our home phones so we wouldn’t miss calls from family, friends or work. Otherwise one never knew if someone had been trying to reach them and so were blissfully unaware. “Friending” someone meant you most likely went out for a drink together.

Graphic by Christian Dorn via Pixabay

Music media, radios, television, and telephones have all changed so rapidly in the past 30 years that we have now included the word “smart” when describing them. Computers are a normal piece of equipment in every household when only 30 years ago such a thing could only be imagined by someone like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates. At that time the word “smart” was attributed to a person’s mental acuity or sometimes it was used to describe a sharp dresser. But the most incredible change for us Boomers to adapt to has been the use of social media and the cell phone.

I recall getting my first cell phone about 15 years ago. What a concept! I could carry a little phone everywhere with me and could call my home from anywhere I might be to check-in. As technology developed, I had to learn to text. My daughter sat patiently with my husband and I trying to teach us the technique of texting. I found it hard to get my head around the tiny keyboard although my husband seemed to grasp it right away. He immediately starting texting our daughter who was down the hall in her room! The first text I ever sent was to my son who was then in college. I was so proud of myself for learning how to actually send out the message although the gentle response I got back was that there was a space bar on the phone and I could actually put spaces between my words.

Graphics by Pixaline via Pixabay

What I have come to love about texting, however, is the use of the queen of virtual emotions, the Emoji. Emoji’s are little graphic cartoons that express emotions in a text and now I can even add them to my email messages. In my opinion, emoji’s cannot be overrated. With a virtual library of a myriad of emotions, one can express sadness, joy, surprise, laughter and everything in between. You can do that with a human face, male or female, a cat or dog face, animal emoji’s, happy or sad faces, hand signals, and even emoji’s for being sick or disgusted.

As a lover of language and good grammar, I have never liked the short form of texting (R U 2 here?) but I have become a lover of the emoji. For some reason, that small, virtual symbol can carry an expression through my text as only words might fail to do. Hysterical, crying laughter emoji expresses things so much better than writing LOL in my opinion. Kisses, hearts, and hugs sent to my loved ones make a generic text a love letter sent through cyberspace. Camels for the workweek Hump Day, birthday cakes with candles, flowers and popping champagne bottles for celebrations, virtual hugs for a bad day. Emoji’s can bring life to the words of a text.

Saying that seems odd, of course. There is no life to the emoji save for the expression they bear. And yet it seems an entire industry has bloomed around emoji’s so much so that even movies have been made with them.

Photo by rawpixal via Pixabay

There is a downside, as there always is with too much of a good thing. People spend far too much time on their phones especially in the company of others. My choice would be to express my love in person with the emoji’s as a stand-in. When people are with me, the phone gets tucked away. It makes me sad to see children with parents in a playground or at a restaurant picking at their food as their parent is engrossed in something or someone else on the small screen. It’s disturbing to see a group of adults sitting together but not one talking to the other. In one of the world’s greatest ironies, social media is very isolating. In-person, an emoji is no stand-in.

I am so proud of all of my Boomer friends who have worked through to master smartphones and computer programs. We’ve had to keep up to stay relevant in our jobs. Every one of us has come to it in our own way but now we all know how to search and find information, stay in touch with our adult children, and use our smartphones to post pictures of travel adventures or perhaps a new grandchild. It’s taken time to come to it and I am still learning as things change faster then I can keep up. But I will keep working at it. I think there’s an emoji for that.

Photo by Free-Photos via Pixabay

16 Comments Add yours

  1. goatdogsimple says:

    Great points! I’m GenX and my kids laugh at me for not being quick enough to catch on to the latest gadgets. They’re growing up immersed in technology– it’s second nature to them. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Britt K says:

    While I’m not part of the boomer generation, I did grow up without cellphone technology until my teens. I look at the kids today and they can do far more at 3 and 4 years old with their parent’s phones and tablets than I can even comprehend. It’s unbelievable!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mom2times says:

      So true! It is a mixed blessing. Thanks for reading!


  3. Kez says:

    I’m a child of boomers, but I agree with so much of what you say! I was a child of the 80s and it was honestly one of the best times to be alive.

    I’ve kept up with technology rather well, but I abhor people being on their phone in ny company. Luckily I have friends, from boomers to Gen Z, that value human interactions over virtual ones.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mom2times says:

      I am lucky to have such friends too! Thanks for your feedback.


  4. Lou says:

    Tina, so true … our generation has had to work at this technology and try and keep up. I’m with you, in that, when I’m in another’s company the phone is put away. I have told my step children, years ago, to please don’t use iPhones at the table. Most of the time it’s worked!!! I see mothers pushing prams and talking/texting and not interacting with their young … I find it so very sad. Keep up the great work, Bella!!! Will ring in the near future and catch up on all the news. Love, Lou xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mom2times says:

      Thanks, Lou, look forward to catching up xo


  5. Hit the nail on the head once again, Tina! While our kids grew up with technology, we’ve had to learn it the hard way. . . by clicking, wiping everything out and clicking again! Love your writing!


  6. I’m gen x and yes I’m a bit slow on some apps, and I make the kids laugh, but it was our generation that started the tech revolution

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mom2times says:

      Yes! It continues to evolve beyond us! We need to keep up to stay relevant. Thanks for reading.


      1. My pleasure, new follower


  7. Renee says:

    Love this! Its crazy how things change. I don’t even want to think about what technology could be like in the next 5-10 years!!
    Great post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m a milennial and I do feel quite a bit for older generations who have had to get to grips with technology which they really don’t understand. It must be hard when it’s something so alien to you, when the whole world is doing everything online. I wish I was a teen in the 80’s – I love the 80’s. I definitely feel like I was born in the wrong era x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. mom2times says:

      Thanks, Jenny, I loved the 80’s too!


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