Emojis appeared in 1999 with a set of 176 symbols meant to convey weather, traffic, technology and time. Currently, there are 2,823 emojis that convey information across languages, cultures, lifestyles and diversity.
Emoji have become a part of our everyday language, used when conveying meaning or emotions when words are not enough. But what looks like a cute, harmless text symbol could mean something completely different to your kids, who have become adept at taking their own language to KPC (Keep Parents Clueless). Sometimes all it takes is a single emoji to convey threats, send sexual advances, bully others, make racist comments or complete drug transactions.
Parents must be involved and not only monitor what their children are doing, but be aware of this new and often complex language that is constantly changing. Below are four threats and the emojis that come with them.
It wasn’t that long ago when a teenager looking to buy illegal drugs had to venture into questionable neighborhoods, find the right street corners, identify dealers and swap cash for their belongings. Now, 75 percent of drug transactions take place via social media, often using funny, seemingly innocent icons.
In an era of shareable snapshots, swiftly deleted posts and lightening fast texting, teens can end up in questionable situations. Technology has made it easier for predators to talk to and ask minors, often temporarily PIR (Parent in Room) or PAL (Parent Listening).
Bullies go to all extremes to torture their victims while keeping their actions a secret from others. Emojis allow bullies to hide their malicious messages. While the victim understands its meaning, if caught, bullies will hide behind the emoji’s original meaning to protect themselves.
Another unsettling use of emojis is when they are used to communicate about criminal and physical threats. Bombs, guns and knives are pretty straightforward. But what about other icons used to threaten others? Also, did you know that emojis are now allowed to be used as evidence in court? It’s important to make sure your kids are aware of the risks involved in using it.
As more emojis appear with each operating system update, it is very important to understand what they mean today, but also stay on top of what they will mean tomorrow.
TYVM HTH … (Thank you very much, hope this helps)