Where Are Telephone Keycap Emojis?

by Colin Berkshire

I have never used the new, modern artwork emojis. Somehow, they seem to lack the cleverness of the original ASCII emojis. And, there are so many of them that I hardly know the difference between 😛 and 😝. I mean, how am I supposed to infer meaning between these? I watch people spend a minute choosing exactly the right emoji, oblivious to the fact that the nuances between one and the other will be lost of the recipient.

I suppose part of the reason I object to emojis is that I have Aspergers, and so it is already hard enough to nuance emotions without adding the layers of white-noise that most emojis add.

My biggest objection is that they are robbing Unicode values. There is a very finite number of Unicode values that can be used for symbols, and we’re squandering them on things like poop 💩. Do we really need a poop 💩 emoji?

As somebody responsible for HR I must be sensitive to all people and must be professional in how I deal with people. Before we could express racism using emojis I felt somewhat safe sending the rare, occasional smiley 😊 to indicate a deed well done. But now that emoji can be modified to use different skin tone (based on the Fitzpatrick Scale) Worse, I can express age and gender, so I must choose between 👨🏻 and 👨🏾 and 👨🏿 and 👨🏼. You see, this has made use of any emoji a politically incorrect disaster followed by a lawsuit just waiting to happen.

Am I obligated to choose skin tone? Do I pick mine or the recipient’s? Is it proper to ask the recipient their skin-tone so that I can be sensitive and send my emojis in the correct tone?

And, then there is the fact that most emojis are non-asians. I’m hard pressed to find an emoji of a Chinese, or a Japanese. As one who works extensively with Asians I am quite aware of the traditional differences between Japanese and Northern-Chinese and Southeastern Chinese. Emojis do a remarkably poor job of representing these people…probably because of a terrible racial bias of those who are designing and standardizing emojis.

But let me be more pragmatic: Unicode characters were intended to be able to encode the symbols of language. Mathematical and hieroglyphic symbols. And, even before that they were to provide a way of encoding pictographic language characters such as used in Thai and Chinese.

We’re gobbling up terabytes of disk space with poop emojis 💩 while still failing to have the symbols we really need to communicate clearly.

The emojis I need are touch-tone buttons. Where are they? Why don’t we have the standard, universal, touch-tone buttons with letters “ABC” on the 2 button? Why doesn’t this keycap exist?

I need these keycaps all the time. And, we don’t have them.

We have this emoji, 🚃, for whatever unknown reason. But no touch-tone keycaps.

We even have a telephone emoji with the wrong number of buttons on it: ☎️.

So, 💩 on emojis.

We need telephone keycaps. Anybody with me? 😉