There are burritos now. A turkey. An “up yours” and even a unicorn.
We are blessed to have a plethora of tiny little graphics right there at the swipe of our finger.
The emoji library is filled with a whole host of racially diverse folks of all ages and genders, every type of delicacy you could ever dream of (hmmmm popcorn), a range of transport options and even a funeral urn.
(Err, for you know when an emoji moves on).
Each and every type of family you could imagine is represented. Fifteen different types of them. LGBT families, childless couples, mother, father, boy; mother, mother, girl; father, father, boy, girl.
There’s the pigeon pair family, the two mums and a son, the two dads and two impeccably groomed kids.
A virtual world complete.
Except for one thing.
They forgot about us — the single parent families. Not since Joe Hockey’s first budget have single parents been so maligned.
American actress and comedian Chelsea Peretti recently raised the issue on Twitter:
She had a whole heap of total dick wad responses (you can imagine) and one fairly clever one:
But reality aside, nobody seems to have an answer to why the single mums and dads of the world were overlooked in the recent great emoji rebirth. As online news site Mic wrote, there are 15 different train emojis, what’s so hard about throwing in a single mum and a few sprockets or a single dad and his brood?
In April, Apple updated their emojis to include racially diverse and gay family and couple icons. They all appeared suddenly on our devices after a slightly nerve-wracking update.
(Software update fail error anyone?)
But once we waited, and waited, and waited for that little bar to reach the end of the screen. There they were a whole neighbourhood of smiling block coloured families all diverse in their own ways.
In October another update came, this time with emojis we never even knew we needed so badly — a unicorn, a squirrel, a rather sad lion and a clown face.
The emoji world was complete.
Ellen Degeneres explains what the new emojis could really mean…
Can’t you just see the emoji families shuffling the emoji kids off to emoji soccer and trumpet lessons before rushing them home for an emoji dinner of corn, cheese and a turkey drumstick?
They were happy. They had diversity and recognition. They had tacos.
But some of us were forgotten.
Some of us were this:
In Australia there are 780,000 single mother families, and in the US (where the emojis’ virtual homeland lies) single motherhood has grown so common that demographers now believe half of all children will live with a single mum at some point before the age of 18. Yet it’s still a family status often perceived as being unseemly.
Of course there are other emoji families that don’t make the cut – mixed race families, grandparents raising grandkids and what about those couples with a poodle? Where’s the emoji for them?
Now some of you might be wondering if I am overthinking this whole emoji thing.
In fact you might be tempted to be sending me this:
But emojis are increasingly becoming a part of our lexicon. We use them to express emotion, we use them to initiate conversations, even our Foreign Minister uses them to communicate.
Emojis are a part of life that — love them or hate them — are here to stay and what it comes down to (as with many things) is the ones who are really important in these things – the kids are the ones who feel rejected.
The children being brought up in single parent families have just as much right to feel “normal” and represented as their classmates. So if we are going to increasingly use emojis to represent our thoughts and feelings, then we need to make sure that we are all catered for.
And after all there is a slight chance that by the time our children are adults they will be communicating entirely in emojis.
Because if they can have a man in a business suit levitating, surely they can have a single parent emoji. Can’t they?
What other emojis do you think they are missing?