You might be saying a lot more than you realise when you add a smiley face to the ending of a message. Emoticons, faces formed from punctuation symbols like :-), emojis and graphic symbols, are now common characteristics of the way we communicate using telephone and web messaging services and social media. They are able to help your receiver strengthen the emotion in what you’re saying, comprehend a message that is possibly equivocal, or convey your feelings quickly with one character. But not everyone uses them interprets them in exactly the same manner.
So we set out to find the method by which the use of these symbols affects the way others perceive us. Do different kinds of folks use emoticons including handling their persona for a specific function, for instance? If so, what emotional variables are correlated with these activities? To try it, we requested several pupils to complete surveys about themselves and then enable us to examine their textual communicating in a dialogue that was staged.
The questions covered the pupils’ perspectives on their styles, self esteem, social anxiety and self-presentation issues (how stressed they were about how other people perceived them).
We additionally found that those who were worried about how they were perceived by other people were more likely to use emoticons that were unhappy.
It appears that emoticons are used by different people otherwise determined by their characters. Individuals who are not disagreeable have a tendency to use emotional and social signals in actuality to convey that to others, for example being supporting and smiling. And in the virtual universe that’s reflected to some level through using smiling emoticons.
That is especially the case on social networking sites for example Facebook, where messages may have larger, broader audiences and where the interactions are more complicated than straightforward and more abundant, one to one basic text messages. We make more of an effort to share that part in their character through emoticons and can suppose that those who find themselves as agreeable are excited in these virtual surroundings.
At once, if you’re less worried about how you are perceived by people, you might be more comfortable showing all your emotions, including depression. And a gloomy face on a message may be an indicator that you concerned with expressing yourself than with you may be judged by others.
Some of our other findings also reveal how we likely to use emoticons in some types of virtual communication. Maybe understandably, our participants deemed emoticons unsuitable for more professional circumstances, which likely explains why they said they used emoticons in social media or text messages than in e-mail.
This implies emoticons may be especially very important to people who find it hard interpret or to express societal or emotion purpose using the clues and only text it can supply.
It’s prompted us to begin planning additional research into whether emoticons could be valuable for those on the autism spectrum. These people can fight picking up emotional cues and with social interaction, so the clarity that emoticons bring to messages that are possibly equivocal may enable them to convey.
We found the more smiley emoticons a man had used, the more they were viewed as agreeable, diligent and open to new encounters.
But this didn’t consistently correspond to how people viewed themselves. Those being requested to judge them and the emoticon users were likely to agree how extroverted and receptive to new encounters they were.
Other behavior could result in less favourable opinions although we recorded cases of observers making favorable judgement about other folks’s emoticon use.