Express Yourself: The language of social media comes to life.

written by: Susan Lacke

The generation gap in language is nothing new: Adults and kids have long lamented that the other just doesn’t get it. Surely, they are speaking different languages. Nowhere is this more evident than in the way we use smartphones: One group prefers to dial a number for a chat and the other can communicate entire paragraphs via emojis. The smiley faces, hearts and colorful icons serve as a shorthand in text messages and social media.

Though most simply shake their head and complain about “those damn kids” or “those old geezers,” the Hill Aerospace Museum in the town of Roy has found a way to bring both together in a way both groups will understand: an emoji scavenger hunt.

Using emojis as clues, families can seek out certain aircraft—the Grandpa emoji plus a waving hand equals “Old Shakey,” a C-124 cargo aircraft. The idea itself is a cross-generational collaboration between Education Specialist Mark Standing and his summer interns from Utah colleges and universities.

“The clues are all awesome, very clever,” says Robb Alexander, Executive Director at the Aerospace Heritage Foundation. “Museum patrons—kids and adults alike—have really loved doing this together.”

In Utah, you’ve got to take a clear and vocal side in the Holy War between the U and BYU. Luckily, you can trash-talk using emojis. Flash the U with the Umoji app from the University of Utah, or Rep the Y with a BYU Emoji Keyboard; both are available on iTunes and Google Store.

And so it came to pass that the LDS church got in on the emoji trend, too. Mormojis, developed by Smithfield-based developers Mormon Buzzz, aims to bring Latter Day Saints to modern day communication with an emoji keyboard that includes Nephi, The Book of Mormon and those ubiquitous name tags.

If Utah had a state emoji, what would it be? A 2015 study from SwiftKey looked at the most popular emojis in all 50 states: Hawaiians, not surprisingly, use the surfer emoji the most, while the pants emoji is king in Maryland (we’re still trying to figure that one out). In Utah, we’re all about the sweet stuff, using the lollipop emoji most frequently.

See more inside our 2018 Mar/Apr Issue.

Susan Lacke
Susan Lacke
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