Are emojis here to stay?
Following our previous article that explored what emojis and avatars are, this month we take a deeper look into how emojis are used in our day-to-day lives.
Humans have been using imagery to convey emotions in our language for thousands of years. Cave paintings are a great example of this - some of which are believed to be as old as 52,000 years old! Emojis are essentially a modern day pictograph that most of us now use every day when communicating with others, be it via social media, instant messaging or text. 💻
A study over the past year that looked at how emojis are used to convey emotion on Twitter found that the following 20 emojis were used more than any other 👇
The time of the day and day of the week were also examined as variables, with the study observing that within a 24 hour period, emojis related to happiness peaked at around 4pm, but dipped in the mid-morning. Additionally, the peak time for emojis showing disgust was 3am, where the data showed these emojis were commonly paired with words relating to “love”, “miss”, “heart” and “boyfriend”. This would suggest a lot of heartbroken people seem to be expressing their sadness at this time of the morning.💔
When analysing the use of emojis over the course of a whole week, unsurprisingly, it was observed that joy peaked on a Friday, no doubt due to the upcoming weekend. Interestingly however, anger emojis peaked on Wednesdays and sadness emojis peaked on Thursdays. The anger emojis on a Wednesday were often associated with keywords such as “job”, “work” and “money”, but also words related to fitness such as “workout”, “gym” and “health”.
Emojis are often used in very creative ways to express a lot in just one character. The way certain emojis are used has also been seen to evolve over time and take on new meaning from their literal representation. For example, the fire emoji 🔥 that you might associate with danger or warning is now often used as a reaction to a funny insult by a friend, or as a compliment. If someone is showing off their fancy outfit for an evening out, you could use the fire emoji to show they are looking great!
Another emoji commonly used that has a few different meanings is the skull emoji 💀 Apart from being used in a literal sense for death or being scared, this has evolved into a symbol for happier times too! The skull emoji is often used when something is hilarious, following text saying “you’re killing me” or “I’m dying”. The skull also accompanies the crying with laughter emoji, conveying the same emotion but without using any words at all.
It looks like emojis are here to stay as they grow ever more popular in the way we communicate with each other - from a personal conversation or tweet, to business emails or company social media posts - emojis are everywhere and are growing in number too! Have you ever thought about what your favourite emoji is? 😻