I love developing connections with people and also being showered in attention, so of course it naturally follows that I'm a huge fan of emoji reactions.
Posting content online can be scary - sometimes I post something where hundreds of people could be reading it but have no idea who's seen it. I don't know how many people are going to read this notebook post or what they'll think of it. Emoji reactions bring me the comfort of knowing that the things I've said have been seen and appreciated.
Responding to content publicly is also scary - sometimes I read a post that I want to acknowledge, but I don't know what to say. I worry about accidentally saying the wrong thing or detracting from a conversation. Sometimes words feel too clunky to express the way I feel about a post, and an emoji can express my vague emotions in a way that feels more accurate.
The more emoji options I have, the more emotions I can express. I love that many group chat apps allow for custom emoji, and I've collected some of my favourites here which I often gradually add to community chats when I join them. The emoji that I've most enjoyed over the years often fall into one of these categories:
Having more options for reactions makes such a difference. The joy of experiencing a creative emoji selection contrasts starkly with the "never enough" feeling I get with each Twitter like. It feels mundane to be first like on a tweet, but I'm often excited to quickly add a creative emoji react to a new post - especially since I've noticed that early reactions often inspire others to also react.
I'm nervous to rely too much on the emoji reaction. There are times when a sending written response would be more meaningful and appreciated than a simple emoji response. And there have been times when I've written something and it felt empty to get only emoji reactions in response. But often an emoji reaction has been sufficient for me to feel connected, to feel seen, to feel valid. And that sure feels nice.