Embracing the benefits of emojis

TED@UPS asks: What if emojis could connect people around the world?

From cave paintings to ancient pictographs to Egyptian hieroglyphs, mankind has been communicating ideas through pictures for thousands of years. The most recent incarnation of this visual language is the emoji, which Jenna Schilstra sees as a powerful tool for overcoming language barriers.

Emojis are transforming the way we communicate in surprisingly beneficial ways.

Jenna’s fascination with language began during her childhood in bilingual Belgium. She found herself yearning for the ability to communicate and converse with everyone on the globe, no matter what their native tongue.

In her TED@UPS talk, Jenna explains that emojis are more than a shorthand favored by millennials. They allow people worldwide to connect digitally using a common language. And they help to clarify meaning when words aren’t enough.

Jenna shows how emojis are already being employed in new and beneficial ways, from helping abused children express emotions to letting customers tweet an order to their favorite pizza place. She also envisions a future where emojis are used in even more ways to do good.

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