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The Stories Behind the Heart Emoji

In 1977 the heart icon became a verb. The “I❤️NY” Logo was created to boost morale for a city that was in severe crisis. Trash piled up on the streets, the crime rate spiked, and New York City was near bankruptcy. Hired by the city to design an image that would increase tourism, Milton Glaser created the famous logo that has since become both a cliché and a meme. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, New Yorkers had tragic reasons for loving their city all the more. Glaser even designed a modified version of his logo: "I❤️NY More than Ever.”

A few years earlier, a new graphic form appeared that also played on the heart image. In 1999 the Japanese provider NTT DoCoMo released the first emoji made specifically for mobile communication. The original 176 emoji’s were rendered in black and white, before they were painted one of six colors. Among the original 176 emojis there were five of the heart. Today our online messages are regularly punctuated by heart emojis in multiple colors and combinations.

Possible Preaching Angle:

According to Scripture, believers are specifically commanded to “heart” the Lord our God (Matt 22:36-37), our neighbor (Matt. 22:36-39), other believers (John 13:34-35), and our spouses (Eph. 5:25, Tit. 2:4). We are not to “heart” the world (1 Jn. 2:15-16) or money (Heb. 13:5).

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