In fact, this is already occurring, through the increasing use of graphic elements in our day-to-day digital interactions. People use pictures in email, many posts on social media are basically images or video, and text messages are now reliant on emoticons or emoji to accompany their words.
Emoticons are traditional type characters used to create a simple graphic. The most basic & common are the smiley face :) and sad face:( which instantly let the reader know if there's positive or negative connotation to a message. Emoticons can add much-needed emphasis or emotional expression to a message. I saw this video outlining the history of emoticons on Neatorama:
Emoji are a relatively newer phenomenon that originated in Japan, meaning "picture character". They are pictographs that are used in smartphone texts or social media. Unlike emoticons, that rely on existing typefaces, emoji can represent a limitless array of objects & ideas.
Gawker recently had fun with the idea of telling a story using emoji, by creating headlines for a fake newspaper, The Emoji Tatler:
The ability to convey ideas through pictographs is undoubtedly leading us to a much deeper system of symbolic language.
I think there will be eventually be forms of communication that we can't even conceive right now.
Expanded perceptual abilities will lead to directly-shared experiences & conceptual constructs between interconnected, electronically-augmented minds.
Originally, the funny picture below, that I saw awhile back, led me to writing this post. The graphic asks if we're about to come full circle, by mirroring the use of pictorial Egyptian Hieroglyphs through emoji & picture-based language: