Since before our species was even fully developed, we’ve figured out communication methods that have allowed us to take a thought in our own mind and plant it in someone else’s. An invaluable tool, communication is the key to civilization and society as we know it.
In the advent of the smartphone and widespread instant messaging via texting, trending emojis have only grown in popularity since their initial creation in the late 90’s. The first 180 emojis were designed by a man named Shigetaka Kurita in Japan between 1998 and 1999 while working on a mobile Internet platform.
This is when emojis as we know them came to be, but I like to think that their history goes back longer ago than 1998—after all, this isn’t the first time people have conveyed thoughts and ideas through pictorial means. The last time we did that was at least 5000 years ago when the Ancient Egyptians developed their hieroglyphics.
The Egyptians put meaning to these pictures and used them to express specific words, sounds, or describe something. They even built it into their system that the same symbol can take on different meanings in different contexts—much like the English language does, assigning multiple meanings to the same word.
It was actually the Egyptian hieroglyphics that led to the first alphabets. The inventors based their ideas off of hieroglyphics, but instead of using full pictures, they had the idea to just use symbols, finding the method to be much quicker for writing as well as reading. Immediate neighbors like the Phoenicians and Hebrews caught on and developed their own.
Written language has taken us to the eloquent heights of Homer, Shakespeare, Twain, and Rowling (J.K.) and done what hieroglyphics could never do. But perhaps we got rid of them too quickly. That would explain our return in the form of emojis. They really are quite convenient—words feel a bit cumbersome when all you want to do is show your happiness about something.
We embrace the emoji trend at Everything Summer Camp with cute and fun (and funny) camp trunks, plush pillows, storage cubes, and decals. You can read more about them on this previous Blog post and check out these expressive products on our website. As always thanks for reading, Camp Fans!