I'm an Emoji Abuser—Here's How I (Tried to) Quit Using Them for a Week 😵

I am fluent in emojis.

If it were up to me, every sentence sent via text or plastered on social media would have an emoticon attached to it, because I am a proud and true emoji abuser.

Girl sending emojis on her smart phone

(via Shutterstock)

The small icons liven up a dull sentence, display the emotion you're feeling and make any sentence seem a little more lighthearted. I'm addicted.

So, I challenged myself to a week of no emojis. A week where sentences would have to stand alone with real punctuation. Did I survive and thrive without tiny smiley faces to lean on? Scroll below to find out!

The Rules

As with any good challenge, rules were outlined before I set out on my seven-day mission. I decided to keep the guidelines pretty simple, because after all, I thought challenging myself not to use smiley faces in everything I posted wouldn't be too difficult. Here were the three simple rules:

  • No sending emojis via text
  • No posting emojis via social media i.e. Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook
  • Emojis at work and in article posts are acceptable (a girl's gotta be able to do her job!)

And so the challenge began!

Day One:

Day one started out very strong. I sat down at work and made myself a Post-it note that reminded me "No Emojis" were allowed. I knew that if I made myself a visual reminder I would be less likely to cheat during this challenge.

"NO Emojis" orange sticky note

This little sticky reminder seemed to help me out, because the first half of the day I had no issues avoiding the little icons. By the time work was over at 6:00pm, I hadn't sent a single emoji via text. I gave myself a pat on the back.

When I got home, I hopped on social media and had to actively think about not commenting on every single Instagram post and Facebook status update with my favorite emoji faces.

Then, I decided to post a picture of my own to Instagram. If you know me, you know that all of my picture captions contain at least one icon—because, hey, how else am I supposed to convey how I feel?

I posted the below picture with the caption, "Just a little Wednesday motivation." It took every fiber of my being not to tack on a cute little smiley or sunset emoji.

Just a little Wednesday motivation.

A photo posted by Brittney Leigh Gibson (@blgibson) on

Day Two:

Day two of my challenge was a big day for us over at Sweety High. My co-worker Ashley and I were attending the opening of a cat cafe in Los Angeles, and I was feeling all sorts of happy emotions.

With all of the excitement, I totally forgot about my strict no-emoji rule, and so I posted a Snapchat of my cat cafe invite with text that read, "Today is the day 😻😻😻!" Oops. I'm sorry that my love of cats was more powerful than my desire to resist using emojis.

Later that afternoon I slipped up again when I posted this Instagram with the caption, "Momentarily a cat person 😻." 

Momentarily a cat person 😻

A photo posted by Brittney Leigh Gibson (@blgibson) on

I regretted breaking the rules on only day two, but this momentous event deserved the cat-with-heart-eyes-face. Sorry, but not that sorry.

Day Three:

On day three, I tried to redeem myself by finding ways to express my emotion without using an icon.

My friends were probably concerned because I used an unusual amount of exclamation marks and capped a lot of words just to try and convey my enthusiasm.

I even took advantage of the new iOS update by using the new reaction buttons in iMessage. Giving a thumb up, a thumbs down or a heart to a message was almost as satisfying as using an emoji. Key word: Almost.

New iOS text reactions

Day Four:

On day four, things started to go downhill. It was the weekend, which meant I was on my phone a lot more than the work week, aka, I had plenty more opportunities to goof up this challenge.

It happened to be my best friend's birthday, so I posted the picture below with a lengthy caption that included the adorable kissy face: 😘! How could I write a sentimental caption and not include an emoji?

Because I already cheated by posting an emoji on Instagram, I figured why not sent a birthday text with emojis galore? I cracked. I was back to my emoji-abusing ways.

Day Five:

Day five of the challenge landed on a Sunday. I was out and about most of the day and not glued to my phone, so I was positive I wasn't going to break any of the rules.

By 9:00 p.m. I hadn't used a simple icon—I was pretty satisfied with myself, and finally feeling confident that I could do this. 

But then, I signed onto Instagram, my seemingly biggest obstacle of this whole thing. I posted the following picture with the caption, "My new ride 😜." I didn't even realize I had used an emoji until my co-worker Ashley pointed out that I had done it. 

My new ride 😜

A photo posted by Brittney Leigh Gibson (@blgibson) on

She also pointed out that on that same night I commented on her latest Instagram picture with a single emoji…

Commenting with an emoji

What was I thinking? Oh, right. I wasn't.

Day Six and Day Seven:

By day six I had completely given up on this challenge. What was life if I couldn't express my emotions through cute little cat icons, hearts and smiley faces with sunglasses?

I was a little disappointed in myself that I wasn't able to complete the challenge, but also I was so happy to return to my old texting and social media ways.

What I Learned:

In reality, there is no harm in overusing emoticons. They make me happy and are my way of conveying joy. So why should I limit their use? Although this challenge was a good way for me to practice using words rather than icons to say what I feel, I have no desire to restrict my usage of them any longer.

So what, I'm an emoji abuser—and I'm proud of it. 😀😬😍😘😎🤓✌🏼


I thought it was difficult going a week without emojis, but can you imagine 48 hours without texting? See HERE what happened when Denise made the brave decision to take a brief texting hiatus.