In an essay by German novelist and Nobel laureate Gunter Grass, the protagonist asks a person how he is. That person shows a thumbs up and says nothing. “I asked, how are you?” the slightly annoyed protagonist says. “Didn’t I tell you by showing the sign of thumbs up?” said that person. “You did, but I expected an answer, not a sign. You’re not a caveman unless you consider yourself to be one,” replied the protagonist. Mind you, this essay appeared in a German magazine way back in 1979.
Now the same exasperating sign language of emojis has become the new-age language. All the platforms of social media are fraught with the most irritating emojis of all types. They're now new substitutes for words. Neuro-linguists as well as sociolinguists are of the view that the rampant use of emojis in place of words is robbing humans of their innate and intrinsic emotions. Haven't you noticed the increase of violence in all walks of life? Cold blooded crimes are happening all over. Somewhere, all these undesirable happenings are associated with our lack or wordy communication.
Mind you, we're communicating. In fact, we're communicating much more than what we communicated until a decade ago. But all these resurgent communications and increased connections are often wordless. Why are people, especially youngsters, so clumsy in expressing themselves in any language? We're inarticulate in all languages. The rare use of words is impacting our linguistic skills. In fact, the Oxford Science Journal states in its April edition that lack of lingual communication has degenerated into violent behaviour among humans. If we put an accent only on emojis, other ways of communication will suffer and our own persona will also suffer because of that.
To quote Kaif Bhopali, “Isharon se baat toh ho jaati hai magar/ Baat jab tak na ho, baat badhti nahin.” (Although insinuations convey the messages/ Until we talk, things don't proceed). So, to make things proceed, use words, not signs or emojis.