People think that emojis are this new thing, but I have a hunch they’ve been around for a while. It’s just that maybe they used to be a little more physical. For example, one year, at Previous Church’s annual Holiday Fair, someone donated this antique emoji-transmitting device:
At first glance, it just looks like some sort of oddly proportioned babydoll. But don’t be deceived. Take this baby for a spin and…
…it might fall asleep on you.
Did you find that upsetting? Sorry. I find it pretty creepy, too.
But this is not the only evidence of the age of emojis. A few weeks ago, while beach-combing on Cape Cod, I discovered a rare artifact. I haven’t gotten this appraised or anything, but I think I might have found an emoji device from the Stone Age. I call it the Emojistone. (Harry Potter’s life would have turned out so differently if he had been looking for one of these instead of the Sorcerer’s/Philosopher’s Stone.) Behold.
Here we have what looks to be a cheery, if rushed, or maybe overly enthusiastic, little rock-character. But (also by spinning) he can also express anger/outrage (how relevant he is!):
…and sad/upset/despairing/Edvard Munch:
I’m pretty excited about this discovery. Imagine if people had to express emotions in some other, more complicated, intimate way–like with our faces…
For the genuinely curious, evidently those holes in the rock are created by mollusks called “piddocks“–and indeed, there were tiny little mollusks inside this stone when I first found it.