What’s your emoji? New emojis to come with iPhone update

By Daniel Gordon, Staff Writer

Teens send thousands of texts every month, many of which contain emoticons, popularly referred to as emojis, because they make it easier to convey their emotions and get their point across.

Emojis originated in Japan where picture messages were becoming increasingly used as a medium for communication in the early 2000s. In 2011, Apple incorporated emojis to its keyboard to facilitate communication for users across the world.

“When you text, you can’t show tone or emotion very well,” junior Kendall Wong said. “Also, emojis can highlight a certain feeling your text is not saying.”

With emojis as the newest form of expression, it is surprising that they currently fail to represent so many different types of people.

According to junior Liam Lehr, the current emojis “exclude black people.”

Apple intends to fix this issue with its new updated operating system iOS 8.3, which will be released this spring. The update contains 300 new emojis, including an assortment of emojis representing different ethnicities, an increase in same-sex couples and an additional 32 new country’s flags.

Apple pledged to create new emojis in March 2014 when public outcry reached a peak for ethnically inclusive emojis. A petition on dosomething.org and celebrity pressure from pop star Miley Cyrus forced Apple to make a change.

According to Lehr, he thinks that people are overreacting by protesting, but he still does plan to use the new diverse emojis instead of the current ones.

According to 2015 CNN Money article, Apple cares about diversity and releasing new skin tones was not as simple as just releasing a new update, so it has taken some time.

By simply pressing and holding on any emoji in the people section, the user will bring up a panel of different skin tone options to choose from that cover the entire range of the Fitzpatrick scale, which was developed by dermatologists to show the spectrum of skin colors.

According to senior Olivia Shannon, she is happy about the change because it will “let people be people” and better express themselves.