If you frequently end your e-mails off with a smiley face, you could be sending the wrong signals. We’ve all done it at one point or the other but studies are increasingly beginning to show that signing your mail off with your favourite emoji could imply incompetence. If you’re someone who values the views of their peers, you’re going to want to hold back on sharing that smiley at the end of your e-mail. While the number of emojis people can use rises, so does the emoji culture. However, there’s a time and a place for everything and it would seem that work is not the place to use emojis.
The Popularity of Emojis
Since the year when the first emoji was created, this seemingly small phone feature has grown into a sub-culture of sorts. It is now estimated that at least 60 million emojis are sent on Facebook on average daily. Emojis have become so popular that even a World Emoji Day has been created to celebrate them on 17 July. Not forgetting to mention that the word of the year in 2015 was for the first time not a word, but in fact an emoji. The face with tears of joy is the most popularly used emoji and was hence the word of the year for 2015. Here are some other interesting facts about the world of emojis:
- Emojis originated from Japan.
- Internet-using women use emojis more frequently than men do.
- 25-29 years old is the age group that most frequently use emojis.
- 60 million is the average number of emojis sent on Facebook each day.
- There are over 2,623 official Unicode emojis.
Perceptions of Emoji Use in the Workplace
The main findings from a study done by researchers at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel found that using smileys at work decreased perceptions of competence. While most people initially believed that using smileys increased perceptions of warmth, it had adverse effects in the workplace. According to this study, the truth is that the inclusion of smileys did not impact people’s perception of warmth but did negatively impact their perception of the sender’s competence.
So, while you may feel that you are trying to develop a friendly relationship with a work-colleague via e-mail, you could be damaging your professional identity. Of course, not everybody is the same and their exceptions to every finding and rule, it is worth noting that emojis have their place and that may not be at work.
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