Pet rocks were wildly popular. Unhealthy foods are wildly popular. Cocaine is wildly popular (well maybe that's a stretch).
I think there's a correlation problem here. However, I think you're missing the point again; _what can I convey via an emoji that I cannot convey in ascii_? I have yet to see a single example, and that's what started the entire debate.
And neither of you tried to address the core argument I made in the parent, that emoji reflect the inherent messiness of personal communications and for that matter personal relationships.
The same reason it’s important (but inefficient) to tell someone you love them in nonverbal ways is the reason emoji are popular. We all appreciate communications that extend beyond the written word. Emoji is just another option among many for achieving that.
And exactly zero people, including yourself, have been able to provide a single gle example where text fails to convey what an icon can. And, you, that was the entire subject of this discussion if you haven't noticed.