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These new emoji are a sign of our time

These new emoji are a sign of our time


The Unicode Consortium is woke

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Since its release in 2015, the thinking face emoji has been ubiquitously used as a symbol for sarcasm or response to ironic statements. It replaced the shruggie when we had no words to better describe absurdity; Max Read described it as the “perfect non-response.” But with 51 new emoji added to added to the shortlist for Unicode 10, we’re about to get the emoji we deserve for the year to come.

Introducing the “shocked face with an exploding head.”

This was the emoji we could’ve used when election results came in. When the reality of a Trump presidency sank in, and when we learned — yet again — that the electoral college is deeply flawed.

But there’s more! Unicode 10 will also supply us with the barfing emoji, shushing face, and a cursing face for when slamming your keyboard with your best “fsadajlsnfjkdd” just isn’t enough.

There will also be more hopeful forms of expression. In the wake of the election on Tuesday, violence has already been reported against Muslims, leading some to publicly share their fear of wearing religious garments. Unicode 10 will make that symbol more visible, with an emoji of a woman in a hijab. You could argue that it may be the most woke emoji the Consortium’s added to Unicode.

The new emoji won’t be available until much later in 2017, but they give us a glimpse at the future symbols we’ll use and need for the year ahead.