Friday, April 10, 2015

Blog #8: Why Are Mixed-Raced Family Emojis & Emoji Families Of Color Missing From The Update?

This article is about the new iOS 8.3 update that included more diverse emojis. Emojis are various small icons that are commonly used for texting and on social media sites. Emojis originally was not very diverse in terms of the icons that represent people. They only had ones that represented white people. This is problematic because of course white people are not the only people that exist on this earth. Although the update had good upgrades in terms of the Emoji keyboard, it still had some unsolved issues. The good modifications were that it now allows you to select individual people of different skin colors to possibly represent different races and ethnicities, and it also included couples and families of the LGBT community. The downfall of both of these improvements is that overall there is still needed diversity missing. In particular the couple and family Emojis only include white people as if couples and families of other races and interracial relationships and families do not exist.

This issue is highly problematic. Emojis are very popular worldwide and are heavily used in this technology based world. People from all over the world use these to communicate especially younger populations. Since we do live in a more tech savvy world now, people are more connected than ever before and we also see a rise in types of family formations. There is far more diversity among families now in terms of race, ethnicity, and nationality. The lack of adequate representation of these families is disappointing. It is important that people feel like they are well represented even in things like Emojis and by only showing white families suggests superiority or favoritism. Not only does this leave out interracial couples of both heterosexual and LGBT couples but also the presence of families that include adopted children that may be of a different race. Another issue is that it fails to take into account single parent families and other family forms. If they are going to include one family form they might as well include them all so that no one is left out. Overall Apple is making a step in the right direction by trying to include more diversity in the Emojis but unfortunately there is still far to go. More planning and consideration needs to be put in place to make sure all factors are accounted for and all people in the best way are represented. Emojis are used by people and families worldwide and it is necessary that the people using them are able to see characters that they self-identify with.

Indya Perry
4/10/2015 @ 10:52PM

No comments: