Icons or Words
The modern world is full of computers, and many programs today rely on icons for users to identify them. There are also a host of icons, called emoticons, for people to use when communicating with others. Many apps are represented on mobile devices with icons, and most users recognize them easily. They allow just a touch of the finger to open the application, and the user needs not remember anything more complicated than the familiar picture. All of these are wonderful shortcuts that save time and energy, but reading words can be just as important.
The issue with icons is that they depend upon a person translating their meaning correctly, so those who are not part of the mainstream of a particular society might find it difficult to understand them. Like the ancient hieroglyphics, translation is the key. Even people within the same society might have difficulty if they are of a particular group, and it often is the oldest members who find it difficult to keep up with the newest trends in communication.