Can Emojis Change the World?


You know that cute little gun emoji that you always use? The one that would sum up your feelings toward tomorrow’s math test that no words ever could? Well, get ready to say goodbye because as soon as you update to iOS 10, it’ll be no longer.

The issue of guns is a hot topic currently sweeping the nation. Whether or not you’re for them, there’s no arguing the fact that they can be deadly. If they fall into the wrong hands, mayhem can ensue. And it has. Something needs to be done, but no one can seem to agree on what. In a time of so much confusion, I can tell you with absolute certainty that discarding an emoji isn’t going to fix anything. But could it be a place to start?

Here’s the thing: words without actions are meaningless. At the same time, however, actions are not possible without words. After all, everything you see in this world started with a thought.

Once you install iOS 10, that silver gun emoji will suddenly turn into a harmless, green water gun. There! Problem solved! Right?! Obviously not. But not everything is meant to lead directly to change. Any movement in history – from color equality to women’s rights – required thousands of failures and an unremitting dialogue. No, that one protest isn’t going to make a huge difference, but it’ll make difference. And that’s all you need.

When I first heard about this emoji fiasco, my first instinct was to roll my eyes. It was dumb, pointless, and honestly? I happened to love that gun emoji.

But then I gave it a bit more of a thought, and I realized how cool of Apple this really is. What a subtle statement. No, Apple didn’t solve world hunger or put an end to violence. But you have to realize, that’s not Apple’s job. As a tech company, Apple simply can’t do those things. What it can do, however, is start a conversation, and hopefully that conversation can one day lead to change.


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