Two years ago, my friend and guide runner asked me a question. It started with the careful pause he always uses when he’s not sure if what he’s asking is going to be offensive (if he’s reading this, it NEVER has been!) But he asked me if I had ever seen the poop emoji. In truth, I hadn’t. I don’t even think any of my friends had sent a text to me with the poop emoji in it. I at first thought I had prudish friends; turns out, my friends were polite enough to not send poop pictures to me, specifically (truly appreciated, guys!)

So I asked the vast social network I’ve created over the years… what is this poop emoji? I found it, no problem; my screen reader describes the 💩 as a “Pile of poo”… but what does it look like? And why in the world would anyone use it?

First off, it looks like chocolate ice cream. With big eyes… and a smile? So now it’s a smiling pile of poo? And you’d use it in places where only an image would suffice. not sure why it has to smile, but oooookay!

This sent me on an intermittent search for interesting emojis. I’ve received them in texts and on social media, but they baffle me. I mean… there’s a ⛄ (“snowman without snow”) which has been described as a floating snowman? Isn’t a floating snowman really creepy? Why not just use the regular snowman ☃️ instead? And I can’t possibly forget the hilarious conversation where we were talking about real ice cream (Fudgesicles, to be specific) where I asked (at the behest of my partner) why there was yellow stuff in the 🍨 (ice cream emoji). The response I got back really isn’t fit for printing. But can someone clarify for me if the 🍨 really looks like someone peed on it? And why someone would use it instead of the 🍦 (“Soft Ice Cream?”)

What about the facial expressions? “Sad but Relieved Face” 😥 mostly makes sense, but always seems to confuse me. Are you sad, or relieved? And is one more prevalent than the other? And why isn’t 🤯 (“exploding head”) described as something along the lines of “mind blown”? For the record, I once used it instead of 😤 (“Face with Steam from Nose”) to describe being furious about something… that really confused the recipient!

Then there are the ones I found completely by accident. One of the cats was doing something hilarious, and of course I had to message someone about it. The last word of my sentence was “cat” and then I dictated the words “Face with tears of Joy emoji. Instead of 😂 I wound up with a cat with tears of joy, 😹 which I have since learned looks really creepy!

But I needn’t fear! Coming to the rescue is Emojipedia, a vast database (rabbit hole) of emojis. Not only are they described – even in a sentence or two – but they give helpful tidbits of what they are supposed to convey. But while I do find this helpful, as emojis are a part of the technological world that we live in, I 100% agree with a dear, funny, friend of mine: “I thought we had moved beyond hieroglyphics.”

Apparently not.

And, to this day, I have still never used the poop emoji.