To be understood online, prefer emojis to words

(ETX Daily Up) – Whether on social media or in our emails, emojis are used everywhere. And in proportions that are only growing: Internet users even use more than 7,600 on Discord, every second. More than 291 billion emojis have been posted on the messaging service since its launch in 2015.

To understand the enthusiasm generated by these pictograms, Discord interviewed 16,000 people over the age of 16. More than 70% of them declare thatemoji brings people together. And this, be it friends, members of the same family, classmates or even colleagues.

Young, digital-fed generations are especially fond of these little symbols that represent facial expressions, activities, objects, animals and food. They find it helps them be more honest and expressive in their digital interactions. Thus, 69% of millennials say they communicate their emotions more easily with emojis than with words, compared to 65% of members of Generation Z. It was for this purpose that Shigetaka Kurita invented them in the late 1990s. At the time, texts were limited to 250 characters in early messaging services, and “it was difficult to convey their emotions and nuances,” as the Japanese interface designer explained in the “Emoji-Nation” documentary series. Emojis have since been imposed on our digital exchanges to take precedence over written language. That’s how the Oxford Dictionary decided to choose ?, the crying face symbol, as the word of the year in 2015. A decision that may surprise purists, but which proves the evolution of our way of thinking. ‘interaction. “Texting can feel impersonal, but emojis help bring a little bit of yourself into the conversation,” says Connor Blakley, founder and CEO of YouthLogic, in dispute report.

Graphic icons that are more expressive than they seem

Although ubiquitous on the Internet, emojis are constantly being reinterpreted. Nearly eight in ten respondents say their meaning varies depending on who they send it to. Foodies can use carrot emoji to define the orange root that rabbits love, while anti-vaccines use it to talk about the Covid-19 vaccination, unconcerned by moderate social media politics.

Therefore, everyone adopts emojis at will. The phenomenon is such that 44% of internet users surveyed by Discord say they use some more than others. But these personal preferences do not prevent them from enjoying thousands of other graphic icons that exist. They even have a positive effect on the recipient’s emotional state: 72% of respondents agree that emojis make them smile when they feel sad.

No wonder Neil Cohn, PhD in cognitive science and emoji specialist. “Although they are graphics, we often perceive emojis as faces. And the sight of another’s smiling face is often enough to inspire us to do the same,” he said in the Discord report.

Thus, emojis are similar to a form of language in their own right, given that they allow express themselves through images that represent reality. Like hieroglyphs millennia ago. Like their Egyptian ancestors, emojis organize our modern societies. As proof, 43% of internet users say it gives them more validation than any textual or verbal statement.

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