The State of the Union Written in Emoji

January 21, 2015

12:30 pm

Last night, President Obama made his 2015 Presidential State of the Union. While the State of the Union has increasingly developed into just another medium through which the President of the United States can reaffirm the citizens of his commitment to the values, issues, and platform on which he (or she) was elected (see this piece from The Onion as to why that is), last night’s speech made by President Obama was a landmark event in several regards. I mean, for one, it was the first State of the Union that was live-tweeted in largely emojis by a major publication.

Sure, last night’s State of the Union may have been the first time the words “lesbian”, “bisexual”, “transgender”, and “Instagram” were used. And, sure, it was the first time that the President’s full speech was provided to the people online prior to the event (in Medium, no less). But the most glaring omission by the media was last night’s live coverage by The Guardian during which it live-tweeted President Obama’s State of the Union in mostly emoji.

Under the Twitter handle @EmojibamaThe Guardian live-tweeted a word-for-word replica of President Obama’s State of the Union address in (mostly) emoji. It was an entertaining stream of symbols that marked our country’s evolution in the digital age; it was an attempt to bridge the disconnect to the largely apathetic teen Millennials too focused on their Snapchats to give a damn; and it was, in a word: glorious. The live-tweets from The Guardian are apropos, though, especially considering the language used by the President last night (ahem “make sure to Instagram it”).

Read some of the tweets from The Guardian‘s @Emojibama:


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Ronald Barba was the previous managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things. Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in 'Doctor Who', Murakami, 'The Mindy Project', and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a "writer". Tweet @RonaldPBarba.

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