Ah, where would the Internet be without emojis? Those little smiley/angry/headbanging faces make our virtual world come to life. But do you ever feel like there just isn’t an emoji to express how you’re feeling? Designer Rebecca Evie Lynch felt just this way and that is what led her to create a series of emojis for introverts. It all happened after her boyfriend of three years broke up with her, citing he needed more alone time.
“I was surprised, as I’ve always considered myself an introvert, too,” she told Fast Company, “but I realized that my enthusiasm about being in a relationship sometimes overshadows my ability to read others’ signals.”
What does this have to do with emojis? Well, it was the motivation for Lynch to create Introji, a series of pictograms designs for the introvert, to help them communicate with the world around them.
“As an introvert, I’ve experienced plenty of moments where I feel the lack of a simple way to express a need for aloneness—or conversely, a need for quiet company—in a way that won’t be misunderstood,” Lynch wrote in a Kickstarter pitch last fall. (She later canceled the crowdfunding campaign.) “On the other hand, I want to be able express to others that I understood their need for space, while letting them know that I’d be there when they needed me.”
No matter what language you speak or what background you come from, emojis are a universal expression of thoughts and feelings. Want to send a big hug to someone hundreds of miles away? Emojis help you express this sentiment. What what if you want to tell your loved one you are content to sit beside them quietly doing your own thing?
Lynch’s prototype series of Introjis attempts to do just that. The more than 30 Introjis in her series include activities like reading, gaming, leaving stressful social situations and staying home. Yes, for the introvert “staying home” is an activity all its own.
Why do we need this? Well, why do we really need emojis at all? Lynch explains how introverts often find the company of others draining. It’s not that they don’t want love and companionship like everyone else but they find certain situations and interactions draining and they may need some time alone to unwind and desensitize. Sometimes introverts struggle with how to express to others that they need time away and then again, expressing when they are ready for some social interaction. Lynch believes these Introjis are one way to bridge that gap.
Also included in the series are emojis that represent distress calls. “While introversion and depression are entirely different things—introversion is decidedly not a disorder—the need to be alone can often be mistaken for depression by others. Having these complex, distinctive emotional states represented in the toolkit can hopefully help clarify the difference,” Lynch says.
You can see more here on her Facebook page devoted to the project.
She’s hoping to turn her prototype into a free app. So what do you think? Would you use these if they were available?