Photo illustration by Matt Battaglia

When Apple unveiled its first batch of iPhone emojis several years ago, I was incredulous. Using childish cartoons in place of actual words seemed like something only a teenage girl or a middle-aged man who’s “hip with the kids” would do. Then I discovered the revolver emoji, and, just like that, I was converted. Now, at last, I had a convenient way to communicate to my friends and loved ones exactly what I was feeling whenever my life turned sour grapes, as it’s prone to do. Hungover? Bad day at work? Fly unzipped on the subway, again!? Those moments could be summed up quickly with a little yellow face followed by a gun pointing at that face. Boom.  

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