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Since their launch, emojis have been changing the way we communicate. No longer are we burdened by the challenges of writing words and spelling things correctly; we now harness the ability to express our deepest thoughts entirely through technicolor symbols!

However, despite the ridiculously high number of emojis available to us, I often feel that I see the same few used over and over again. Yes, I like the smirking face as much as any other cynic. The nail-painting emoji? A classic. And the girl with her hand up is an icon all on her own. But there are a few emojis that I think merit more attention. Namely…

The smiling with sweat emoji. To me, this face says, “I’m feeling multiple shades of uncomfortable, but I will keep this grin on as a defense mechanism!” That kind of sentiment just touches my soul. And it tells a story: the tale of a person who has been through it all – stress, anxiety, generally being overwhelmed – but has decided to keep smiling, for better or for worse. There’s a hollowness in those eyes. A darkness. But this emoji is still trying, still hanging in there even though it’s breaking a sweat. Never stop fighting, my circular friend.

The clinking glasses emoji. Remember when people couldn’t figure out if those hands were praying or high-fiving? There’s never been that kind of ambiguity with this emoji. It’s very simple: two fancy glasses meeting, just as in a meeting of the minds. This image says, “I agree,” or “Great idea,” or “We bond over our shared drinking problem!” Having said that, there’s no way to say for sure what’s in those glasses. Probably champagne – or sparkling cider, for the underage crowd. Shoot, I guess there is ambiguity. Whatever, it’s still a good emoji, OK?

The cow emoji. There’s a very specific use I have for this emoji. Lately, there has been a trend for people to respond to almost anything (textual, graphical or video) with a single word: “Mood.” This has started getting on my precious nerves as of late. No, Katie, my six-paragraph essay in which I complain endlessly about my life is not simply a “mood.” The proper reply to this display of apathy, I have decided, is to deploy the cow emoji and say, “Mooooo’d.” Give it a try – those who recognize your genius deserve to remain in your contact list.

The place setting emoji. Similar to using the cow, this emoji is helpful under particular circumstances, but can be very effective and unexpected. You might have experience using certain fruit and vegetable emojis when flirting, but think about it: why not take the whole meal if you’ve been given the option? And Apple is offering it. The next time you want to comment on your crush’s latest Instagram pic, don’t say they’re lookin’ like a snack. Instead, use this emoji to let them know they’re a full-course dinner.

The peace sign emoji. Also known as the victory hand. It seems this gesture has fallen out of popular use, so maybe I’m showing my age here (I’m a ripe old 24). But come on! A combination of a duck face and a peace sign was the go-to photo pose for years. Those were the days before selfies, of course, if you can imagine such a horror. Even still, this emoji says so much, and it’s ideal for either serious or sarcastic use. I think it’s time for a comeback! Well, for the peace sign, anyway. We’ll leave the duck face in the mid-2000s where it belongs.

So, what do you think? Don’t these emojis deserve a little more ❤?

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