As per usual, the new emoji additions will take a few months to show up in consumer products. The present announcement is merely to get the documentation in order, and then it will be up to software providers like Apple, Google, Samsung, and Microsoft to design their own takes on each emoji and implement those in their device interfaces.
Every year, the Unicode Consortium announces a new batch of emojis for us to use when words fail us during digital communication. After all, why would you type the word “waffle,” when you can sub in an adorable cartoon picture of the pancake’s delicious cousin?
Besides humans, the new emoji also broaden the range of other animals represented, with otters, orangutans, flamingos, and sloths all making it in. On the food front, there’s now butter, garlic, onion, falafel, waffles, and ice cubes. More ominous additions include razors, axes, and a drop of blood. In total, there are 59 new emoji and 171 new variations on existing ones.
Since the underlying factors for yawn contagion aren’t entirely clear, I’m not sure if it will have the same effect every time I see it. But, then again, I might not be the most susceptible. Research shows that younger people are more likely to yawn contagiously on a regular basis. And if you’re susceptible to yawn contagion, it could mean you have an excitable motor cortex.
There has been a lot of research into just what makes yawning such a contagious phenomenon. The variables range from a person’s ability to feel empathy, to their intelligence or even the time of day. These tests typically involve showing subjects videos of other people yawning, which is removed from real life but still uses the image of a human—not a yellow ball head cartoon man.
But the most-curious icon new icon depicts the act of yawning. It’s a round, yellow head that’s attempting to cover its open mouth. I have been yawning in real life every time I look at its rotund little face. Maybe I’m not alone?
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