What does that emoji really mean? ;-)

February 18, 2014, 7:39 PM GMT+0

When using text emojis, men use them more for irony or sarcasm, while women use them because they are cute and fun

American texters send and receive an average of more than 40 text messages a day. In this stream of texting, the loss of both vocal inflections, and facial expressions can cause miscommunications. Using small emoticons or emojis in texts can make raw text seem more polite, and easier to understand.

According to the latest YouGov research, a majority of Americans (59%) now have smartphones. In data texts and IMs there is the option of using emojis, cartoon-like faces expressing an array of emotions. More than a quarter of Americans (26%) use emojis in texts, but for different reasons. Men (47%) are much more likely to use them to convey a subtlety that cannot be conveyed with just text, such as irony or sarcasm. A majority of women who use emojis (67%) do so because they are cute or fun.

Emoticons, or faces made using symbols (e.g. :-P ), can be used in texts and IMs even on regular phones without data capabilities. Likely in part because of this reason, many more people have used emoticons (56%) rather than picture emojis (26%). However, young people are much more likely to use emojis than anyone else. Half of young people ages 18-29 (50%) have used emojis in text and IM conversations.

Full poll results can be found here.

Image: Getty

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