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Is there a more fundamental human question than ‘why isn’t this an emoji?’

Is there a more fundamental human question than ‘why isn’t this an emoji?’

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Every year, the emoji catalog grows a little bigger, but some users still wind up at a loss when they’re trying to express themselves with certain symbols. Naturally, they’ve turned to Twitter (where else?) to voice their woes.

The accounts Emoji Questions and Why No Emoji retweet users asking variations on the same question: why is there no emoji for disco balls? Or giraffes? Or chicken nuggets? These feeds read like an internet-wide wish list, with users bemoaning all the ways they can’t fully communicate. How am I supposed to let my friend know I’m knuckles-deep in a nacho binge if all I have is a basic hand emoji? This is a real problem I’ve had.

Emoji are a loose kind of language. How people use them is up to them, whether they want to interpret them literally, or create a secret code with friends. I use them because I think they’re cute, and they let me be creative. When it’s late and I’m not in the mood to sext someone an awkward monologue, a peach emoji can treat me just right. Or why tell my friend I’m annoyed about something, when I can send an eye-rolling emoji instead? The more symbols at my disposal, the more clearly I can get my messages across.

The beauty of accounts like Emoji Questions and Why No Emoji is that they demonstrate commonality between users — they remind you that you, too, need that specific emoji. They provide insight into what people want to talk about online, what they consider urgent and personal. Some of the emoji they’re asking for mercifully already exist, or are on the way, like the orange heart emoji. Some requests are downright puzzling, like Sasquatch, or Tabil spice mixture. And some I pray never see the light of day.

But creating emoji is a complicated process. Designers who propose new icons spend a lot of time researching cultural communication and defending why they’re necessary to begin with. Creating one generic dog emoji, for example, is much easier than flooding user options with specific dog breeds, and it makes for more universal communication.

So while you may never see your favorite idea turned into a real emoji, there’s a Twitter account for that, too. IdeasForEmoji tweets different scenarios that are unlikely to ever make it through the approval process. Honestly, this one sells itself.