My Shout: Disturbing emoji use

HOW did it come to this?

The regular reader of this rubbish would recall that we rarely bother with Facebook. In fact, we’ve never posted (if that’s the word) anything via the medium. We’d be among the most un-Facebook people going around.

We will concede that we do have a Facebook page although this was a stipulation from our employer some years back. True, we did mention in this space a couple of weeks past that we were looking forward to life as an avid Keyboard Warrior when we leave these shores, but that was more to do with future planning, as they say in the ads for superannuation.

However, just the other day we did the unimaginable. We shall get to that soon enough. It all started when we were looking for a suitable photo to go along with a footy story we had penned. It was logistically impossible for our own shutterbug to get the pic. So in desperation we contacted a former colleague, Emily Dowswell, who now works…. well we’re not sure where she now works, but it’s somewhere important. In a previous life Emily was employed in the Newcastle Knights media department. Em was happy to assist us in getting the pic we required, which ran in last Friday’s edition and online. So we decided to drop young Em a line to thank her for her help and promised to buy her a drink the next time we see her (we won’t). We did so via messenger, which is something to do with Facebook. We have no idea how we even worked out how to use messenger. And then things took a turn for the worse. Because for reasons we still can’t explain, we ended our little note of thanks with one of those little smiley things. An emoji, we think they’re called. Yes, as much as it pains us to admit, we used an emoji.

The afternoon was relatively quiet in the newsroom until a colleague squealed: “Mick McDonald has used an emoji.” It came up in her newsfeed, or something.

There was pandemonium. This correspondent will never live down the shame. 

What were we thinking? The emergence of the emoji in recent times is almost as frightening as the rise of Donald Trump. They’re everywhere and have just about hijacked written communication. Smiley faces, angry faces, little devil faces… all those little faces and other things. It is disturbing, really disturbing.

This correspondent made a stand. Like The Phantom, we took an oath.

“In Odin’s name,’’ we swore (we stole that from the TV show, The Vikings), “I will never use an emoji to emphasis a point.’’

And until the other day, we never had. We're now a tad concerned as to how Odin is going to punish us for our poor judgement. This could get nasty. We promise never to do it again. But that’s not good enough. Facebook, we knew nothing good would come from it.