The Opera browser is one of the browsers on my computer that I cycle through in the course of doing things. I’d hate to miss something. My taskbar looks like this.

I also have each of the browsers tagged as a reading category in my Flipboard so that I don’t miss out on anything more than what I normally do. Recently, I ran across this:

Opera browser lets you use emojis to visit websites 👀

I thought it to be an interesting concept. As they note in the article, a great deal has changed for the connected user but the basic URL and then GO concept remains the same. So, what would happen if a collection of emojis could resolve to your website?

Now, I’ll be honest; I’m not a big emoji user. It needs to be up front and in my face when I’m on a website to actually use one. I’m more likely to use <grin> rather than 😊. For me, it’s also a lot faster to just type letters since I’m not really a big user of emoji. I do know that Windows key + Period brings up an emoji picker. I’ve also read a great deal about people complain that the emojis are not three dimensional! It seems that you can’t win.

If you look at the screen capture above, you’ll note that I have Edge open and I flipped open Opera. I followed one of the links in the article above. Edge did a regular internet search because it didn’t know what to do with things otherwise. The Opera browser took me right to the desired website.

It is an interesting concept and I kind of knew what to expect because of the context of the story. However, in the back of my mind, I couldn’t help but think that there should be warning flags up. One of the things that we all worry about (or should worry about) when someone gives us a link is whether it’s going to take us somewhere safe or not. We do put in some thinking about how to interpret URLs as they’re presented to us.

I enjoyed reading the article and I agreed that so many things have changed and got better over the years. The basic concept of the URL really hasn’t changed. We’ve got an expanded range of internet domains and we can use shorteners all the time. When it’s all said and done, we get to https://dougpete.wordpress.com and that’s it. It’s the content on the page that’s got my attention and not necessarily how I got there.

I’m just a bit leary thinking that I could safely click one of these links composed of emoji and have no need for concern. Maybe I’m a bit paranoid but here I am. And, while Opera is an incredible and innovative browser, one of the premises of the web is that you should be able to use any browser with equal results. At present, that’s not what’s happening.

So, personally, I’m not jumping at it but I’m going to keep an eye on it.

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