Like food, zombies, and dinosaurs? So do Apple’s emoji designers

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We talked about the new iPhone last month (Get ready, MN: The iPhone 8 to be unveiled September 12).

But we didn’t talk about emojis.

And, as we’re using emojis more and more to communicate complex thoughts and feelings, Apple is looking to accommodate with a slew of new characters (coming to iOS 11.1).

They’re pretty food-centric. But as we’ve become pretty food-centric as a culture, it’s not all that surprising. If you want to take someone out for dinner, simply send them any of these

with a big question mark and you’re good to go.

Apple has also made a push toward more gender-free interpretations of faces; a focus on including any and every emoji user’s disposition.

And included a woman breastfeeding, a woman with a headscarf, a man in Lotus position,

the sign-language word for love,

and, because why not, mermaids.

The takeaway from this, perhaps, is not only that we’re becoming increasingly reliant on hieroglyphics to communicate with each other (and how quickly and efficiently they’re allowing us to do so), but also how inclusive they can be: Slowly but surely emojis have come to pretty thoroughly represent the diverse and changing world around us.

Is it a big deal that there is a woman breastfeeding emoji? Well, the conversation surrounding breastfeeding in public has certainly been heating up, and, on some, level, it shows on which side of the conversation Apple stands.

And the gender-neutral emoji faces are important as well, especially among the younger generation who typically use emojis much more than the older generations, and have already embraced non-binary gender norms.

Emojis are a reflection of the people who use them.

Long gone are the days of 🙂 and 🙁 and 😛 to try and convey emotion through text (though they do evoke a certain nostalgia). We can now capture just about any reaction, and action for that matter, with a quick-send facial expression, T-Rex, or raw steak.

A picture is worth a thousand words, after all.

Are these emojis taking text communication to the next level? Or are we devolving by using pictures instead of words to get our point across?

We remain staunchly in support of the former category.

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Wordsmith extraordinaire. Impeccable manners, sometimes. Formerly CBS local, currently TiltMN. In a world of clickbait, sensationalism, and dollar-based journalism, he works tirelessly to present a better brand of internet news.