Joy to the World

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Over at New York magazine, Adam Sternbergh’s written an intricate, affecting, and (honest to god) shocking elegy in awe of the emoji. If he comes to a single conclusion, it’s that every single one of them is here to stay:

Over 470 million Joy emoji are being sent back and forth on Twitter right now—which makes the Joy emoji the No. 1 most popular emoji on Twitter (it tends to compete for the top spot with the Heart). Lovers have successfully wooed one another with emoji. Recruiters for ISIS are using emoji in their friendly sounding, ISIS-promoting tweets. Someone put together a song-length emoji-translation video of Beyoncé’s “Drunk in Love,” while someone else translated R. Kelly’s “Trapped in the Closet” into emoji, while someone else translated all of Moby-Dick (titled, inevitably, Emoji Dick).


Bryan Washington has written for Puerto Del Sol, Ninth Letter, and Midnight Breakfast, among others; he's also the recipient of a Houstonia Fellowship. He lives around New Orleans. More from this author →