A.V. Club readers of a certain age may remember having to take cursive in elementary school; for the rest of you, it looked like this. With the digital ascendancy, we’ve increasingly distanced ourselves from the ugly crudeness of the written language. Email struck a killing blow to the handwritten memorandum, only to find itself cut down by texting and mobile devices. Old timers may also remember emoticons, a weird offshoot of L337 and ASCII-art that allowed the quick-witted (or those with knowledge of cut and paste) to abbreviate their thoughts with character code shorthand. But emoticons were simply the next casualty in the oppressive Darwinian push toward total language efficiency, as it was much easier to tap out emoji icons for “pineapple, thumbs up, smiling face with cat ears, beer mug, heart, poop,” than to manually recreate those objects.
Now, according to Mashable, Skype is continuing our voyage towards communicating with all of the convenience and freedom of a McDonald’s cashier. With Mojis, Skype’s newest feature, users can now send clips from television and films instead of a cumbersome rebus of hockey masks, daisies, ice skates, and lightning bolts. In order to differentiate itself from the lousy glut of SMS providers that only enable static emojis or silent animated GIFs, Skype is partnering with Universal Studios, BBC, and Disney. Skype’s announcement promises clips, with full audio, from Doctor Who, Muppets, Despicable Me, Pitch Perfect, and others.
Imagine how happy your mom (and your data provider) will be when she texts to inquire if you are coming home for Thanksgiving, and you can reply with a clip of Peter Capaldi announcing “I’m the Doctor; it’s what I do!” With the inclusion of Universal, hopefully its only a matter of time before George Costanza can help ease the emotional weight of initiating your next breakup.