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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Emojis and you: What your choice in emojis can make other people think of you


    Have you ever sent a text to your boss and accidently used a winky face instead of a smiley face? That moment of sheer panic after you pressed send probably had something to do with how your boss perceives you. Now there’s science to back that feeling up.

    Emojis have invaded all forms of communication from texting to Facebook Messenger. When you send a smiley face, you’re saying more than you may realize. Sure, you may send an emoji after the dreaded “K” message to let your recipient know you’re not being passive aggressive, but you’re also telling them about your personality.

    Students were asked to describe their personalities and record their emoji usages in a 10-minute conversation over Facebook Messenger, in a study by Helen Wall and Linda Kaye of Edge Hill University, and Stephanie Malone of Australian Catholic University.

    The study found there was a correlation between people who generally found themselves pleasant and likeable to higher emoji use on social media. It also found people who were not concerned about how other people perceived them were more likely to use sad emojis.

    Researchers found a strong connection between the real world and online communication. People who are agreeable tend to use social cues to help communicate with other people, such as smiling more often and using encouraging words.

    This mirrors the behavior of online communication of agreeable people, who may use emojis instead of these cues.

    Researchers are led to believe virtual environments, such as Facebook, stimulate these agreeable people who may use social media sites to convey the more likeable part of their personalities with emojis.

    Likewise, people who were less concerned about how people think of them said they felt more comfortable displaying all of their emotions, especially sadness. Sending sad faces may be indicative of a lack of concern with other people’s opinions.

    Other findings from the study show emojis were used more frequently on some social media than others. Emails are more correlated with professional communication than other forms, such as text, so emoticon use in emails is seen less often than in texts.

    The study found that when a stranger read a conversation between two people, more emojis indicated that someone thought the participant was agreeable, conscientious and open to new experiences.

    So next time you want to send your crush six winky faces and a cry-laughing emoji, think first about what kind of impression you want to make.  

    Follow Bailey Bellavance on Twitter.

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