New Facebook-style emojis to go with your Booklikes updates – new stick with which to beat reviewers?
Am I the only pessimist to feel this way towards the new Booklikes feature? Who will be the first to attach a ‘big smile’ to a 1-star review? Including even a slightly negative emoji when adding a book to your shelves or a currently reading update will, at some point, earn a reader the ire of the book’s author and their fans.
I’m not an emoji or Facebook hater. Meaning can be lost in text without facial expressions and body language to reinforce them and emojis can help convey tone to prevent misunderstandings and offense being taken. On the other hand, the use of emojis is viewed as unprofessional, although most of us aren’t fee-earning professional reviewers. To use emojis, for some, is an indicator of a flippant, flighty and juvenile personality. Can you expect to be taken seriously if you use them? We’re readers, we value words more than pictures. Unless it’s a children’s book or a graphic novel.
Already reviewers are denigrated for using images and gifs to express their thoughts. While I have seen the totally over the top and superfluous uses of gifs, I’ve also seen some truly inspired uses of them in reviews which have not only been informative but thoughtful and entertaining as well. Pictures can be worth a thousand words, as the saying goes. While I’m not sure there was ever a demand for this emoji feature, it could be useful as a shorthand indicator to a person’s opinion, but will Booklikers use it?
Image credit: Booklikes