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Watching 'The Emoji Movie' Is Like Staring Into an Existential Abyss

I worry like everyone else about the miserable world we’ve built for our children, this parody of human life rifted between an overheating Earth and a bullying narcissism-enabling Internet. But that’s just my phony nostalgia, common to anyone of a certain age who can claim to recall with vivid clarity How Things Used To Be, before Facebook, before the iPhone, before whatever silly consumer-electronic toy symbolizes your own personal loss of social innocence.

The truth is that kids today are as fine as kids ever are. They’ll probably save the Earth from us. And so we only really fear for them because we fear what we have become. A shoddy capitalist product like The Emoji Movie pretends toward youth-hipness by depicting an all-American high school filled with teens who spend all day agonizing over their smartphones: What to post, what to share, what emotion-expressing yellow Pac-Man face you can send to your crush so they’ll finally notice you and say mouthwords towards…

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