WhatsApp Introduces Stickers: Are GIFs, Emoticons & Stickers Taking Us Back to Pre-Historic Era of Language & Communication?
Egyptian symbols and WhatsApp emoticons (Photo credits: Vector Stock and WhatsApp)

We as human beings consider ourselves special compared to other livings organisms because of our language skills. We have articulated words, which forms the most important device of communication. Our ability to converse and express ourselves gives us the upper hand among other living beings, but with technology taking over us, we seem to be going back to the day when we used symbols and pictures to communicate. Our words are being conveniently replaced with emoticons. After obsessing over smiley faces, we have graduated to moving images called as GIFs and stickers as forms of communication. The widely used application WhatsApp rolled out a long-awaited feature of stickers. While the keyboard still remains to help us type out words, we are increasingly relying on emoticons to express ourselves better. It is a thing to wonder whether we are heading to the future or back to the prehistoric era of language and communication?

The digital technology keeps evolving to keep us engaged. From text messages to WhatsApp, the forms of communication have definitely evolved. We have forgotten the SMS service, which is mostly used only for notifications about bank accounts and OTPs. And the more we rely on advanced communication applications, the alphabet is getting replaced. To give a simple example, earlier, to reply to something funny, there was a short form "LOL" meaning Laugh Out Loud. Today, we have a laughing emoticon with tears in its eyes, which does the expression. There are many such examples to cite and the emoticons only keep evolving. Know The Origin of First Smiley. 

Watch Video of How To Install WhatsApp Stickers on Android and iOS

Realising the increased usage of these emoticons, WhatsApp has updated them to symbolise ethnicities. That again is a major sign of inclusivity among the emoticons. One step ahead from these emoticons are the GIFs and stickers. These are animated images with varied emotions, words, our day-to-day lingo to facilitate communication. They are not just restricted to basics since we have so many options to choose from. It creates a visual delight at first sight, and we don't realise how enamoured we are of them.

Technology is supposed to take us ahead, but these emoticons in a way are pushing us backwards. When the stone age man had no other means to communicate or invent grammar, they relied on pictures and symbols to do the needful. The Egyptian hieroglyphics are still preserved and we have adapted them into emoticons. Centuries ahead, we are using technology that has been taking us back to the very basics of communication.

Emojis, stickers and moving images are a faster way of communication many would argue, but then are we reducing the time we spend on having conversations, like typing them out? The trend is taking over from manually placing punctuation marks one after another to make a face to just clicking a button to convey the same. So would it be wrong to say these pictorial icons are taking over our language skills? Are we really going back to the stone ages where we communicated with cave paintings and pictures?