Emoji as a 'language' of cuteness

  • Joel Gn Singapore University of Social Sciences


This article develops a case for emoji as a ‘language’ of cuteness, by building a framework for the relationship between their communication design and use in computer-mediated communication. In view of the technical standardisation and cross-cultural reception of emoji, the article also examines the structure and play of these pictograms in and out of messaging platforms. It further argues these movements parallel the contentions that are intrinsic to the aesthetic of cuteness. This approach supports the notion of emoji as a systematised form of cuteness that circumvents the complexity of inter-subjective differences.

Author Biography

Joel Gn, Singapore University of Social Sciences
Lecturer at Singapore University of Social Sciences
How to Cite
Gn, J. (2018). Emoji as a ’language’ of cuteness. First Monday, 23(9). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v23i9.9396