HEY YOU THERE, YOU, THAT PERSON considering posting an emoji of a smiling face to express satisfaction with something, stop what you are doing.
Although using emojis is as cool as a weekend in an icebox with David Hasselhoff, we do it all the time to save us the time to use words. For example, when a friend of the family recently passed we managed to express our condolences, after much consideration, with a little round faced yellow fellow with tears falling out of his face. We received no negative feedback on this, so took that as a positive reception so we followed up with another crying fella, a pair of kissing lips and a thumbs up.
That kind of thing, while obviously stupid, is officially stupid according to researchers from the University of Amsterdam, the University of Haifa and the Ben-Gurion University in Israel, who looked into how the smiley goes down in business communications using science and found that it drops like lead whale turds.
Their study, called The Dark Side of a Smiley, was published in the Social Psychological and Personality Science Journal, according to the EurekAlert science news website. That publication says that 549 people from 29 countries were asked to read work related emails from strangers and make assumptions about the sender. Where a smiley was used the sender was presumed to be dumb.
These university-employed researchers found that while a smiley may look nice it is a vapid thing and not the same as an actual bearing of the teeth.
"Our findings provide first-time evidence that, contrary to actual smiles, smileys do not increase perceptions of warmth and actually decrease perceptions of competence. Perceptions of low competence in turn undermined information sharing," continues the outfit.
"The adverse effects of smiley use are moderated by the formality of the social context and mediated by perceptions of message appropriateness. These results indicate that a smiley is not a smile." µ
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