Con: Diverse emojis will cause issues for Apple users

Cherelle Roberts

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This spring, Apple will be releasing new, racially diverse emojis. After previewing these new emoticons, I could not help but notice issues that I feel will receive negative feedback. The idea of trying to create diversity within the world of technology is ridiculous. No one will ever be satisfied.

Apple stated that its intention is to “update the standard so that it better represents diversity for all of us.”

However, these new characters will cause more problems than they will fix and create a dangerous precedent where racially insensitive images can be justified for the sake of diversity.

I can see their intention, but I do not exactly agree with how they proceed to carry through with it. There are other ways to try and reinforce unity and diversity. By making everyone count, Apple allows users more options to express by using emoticons with more skin tone options and stereotypical attributes. Until Apple is able to incorporate all skin tones and everyone’s unique features, no one will ever truly find comfort in this melting pot of diverse individuals.

These new emojis, according to MacRumors, will feature a range of skin tone options on several different characters, as well as new characters including racially diverse families and same sex families with children and will be available on the iOS and OS X platforms.

By adding different skin tone options for the standard characters, Apple is only serving to provide additional ways for users to divide themselves.

According to sophomore student DeJane Bruce, “The new set of emoji characters can be very offensive and allow these characters to be used in a derogatory way. I was surprised that they created an emoji character in the stereotypical image of a person of Middle Eastern decent.”

“I think that this is a way to continue the division of humanity by creating these ethnic characters. I think that they should continue to create harmless characters such as adorable animals, hearts, non-human facial expressions, and other such images,” Bruce said.

Users of Apple products will likely use these emojis in order to reinforce harmful stereotypical imagery associated with the various races and frankly, they missed the diversity mark when trying to develop the new characters.

It is possible that others may feel misrepresented by the stereotypical skin tone options, such as an obviously yellow option that presumably represents people of Asian descent. Others, however, still do not see themselves represented in the new cast of emojis.

The people in the new update are merely colored-in versions of the original characters, typically represented by white faces. As an innovator in the technology industry, Apple had the unique opportunity to provide accurate representation for a variety of its users. Instead, the company has left out imagery of a large percentage of customers and offended many others.

Apple should, instead, focus its energy on creating lasting change and harmony in the real world — not in virtual reality.

On the other hand, some people tend to over think the situation by focusing way too much on technology, “It is dumbing us down. … It jades us or puts a veil over more important social and racial issues that are right in front of us every day,” sophomore student Rashaed Young said.

Instead of their putting all of their time and immense power on creating inadequate ways to unity Apple could have invested their resources in worthwhile causes and organizations already involved in the fight for racial unity.

Apple has failed to realize that emojis will not magically repair the deeply rooted problems with racism in our society and this new update will only distract from the important work that still needs to be done.

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