Stickers, according to an article in the June 12 Wall Street Journal, are "little cartoonish images that the tech-savvy send one another instead of text." The cute communication tools are purchased as smartphone apps and sent to another in place of text to express emotions and share what's happening in one's day.
They are invariably cute: big-eyed puppies, sweet little bunnies, a sassy wombat, an ice cream cone with arms and legs. Most have names given to them by the app purveyors.
We should have seen this coming. Stickers are the logical next step after emoticons and emojis. A linguistics professor is quoted in the article, saying, "We're a much more graphic culture than we used to be."
And so users perk up their "boring texts" with the cute little icons. Says one sticker fan, "People misread texts a lot, but it's really hard to misread a cute bunny holding a heart."
Oh, really? Here are a few ways I can read that bunny:
The surgery was a success!
Did you forget that they changed the date of Valentine's Day?
Sweetmeats for dinner!
Help me. I'm having a heart attack.
I mean it. What is a heart-holding bunny supposed to mean?
Let's try this out. Here are a few "messages" I might send Tom to keep him up with my day. See if you can figure out what I'm saying.
1. Cute wombat lying flat.
2. Cute cat in a kitty curl.
3. Cute cat with teeth showing and claws out.
4. Cute lizard lying flat.
5. Cute dog lapping at a bowl of water.
Have your answers ready? Okay, here's what was going on:
1. Yikes! I almost got run over by a GRTC bus.
2. I've been working in the garden, and I can't unkink my back.
3. I'm also filthy from all that weeding. Where did you put the nail brush?
4. Stop the world, I want to get off. Get me to the Turks and Caicos ASAP.
5. Yes, I started drinking without you. It's five o'clock somewhere.
What - didn't you get any of them right? Hmm. I guess maybe sometimes a picture isn't worth a thousand words.