10 Ways Emojis Have Changed the Way We Communicate

Emojis have allowed us to replace words with cute or angry faces to express how we feel. With so many emojis to choose from, it is no wonder that people have started to rely on them. But have emojis disrupted our ability to express ourselves honestly?

Are emojis just a lazy way to say something quickly or do they have a more versatile role in the way we communicate? We’ll look at ways in which emojis have changed the way we express ourselves on the internet. Are they helping or harming our ability to say it like it is?

5 Ways That Emojis Are Helping Us Communicate

According to the Macmillan dictionary blog, emojis have been blamed for ruining language, but the claim is unfounded. When something is new and popular, people get into the habit of finding negatives.

The blog says that “emojis are not language, and the fear that they could replace language is groundless… they can supplement and enhance language for people who embrace technology. But there is no reason at all to think emojis will harm our linguistic ability.”

In other words, if emojis disappeared from the internet, people would still find ways to express themselves. There are ways that emojis have changed the way we communicate, and they’ve added some positives to the way we express ourselves online.

1. They Make Texting Fun and Light-Hearted

If you’re texting a friend and you’ve just agreed to meet them at the mall, it’s fairly straightforward to just type “See you there”. But if you add a smiley face or a laughing face, you’re indicating how you feel about the meeting without having to type “I am so excited to see you”. In this way, emojis allow us to convey emotion, quickly.

2. Emojis Help Convey Our Facial Expressions

With so many emojis out there, you are bound to find one that conveys how you feel at any given moment. If you’re chatting to someone online and your communication has reached a level where it would be helpful to show your facial expression, you can do that by selecting an emoji.

Emojis are specifically helpful when communication fails us and we don’t know if someone is joking or being serious. When you stick an emoji at the end of a sentence, you’re letting someone know your opinion on a topic.

3. They Assist in Conveying Our Tone of Voice

When you’re chatting to someone on social media, it is not always easy to convey your tone of voice without spelling what you’re thinking or feeling. An emoji assists your writing by adding an emotion to it. If you want to shout something out from the rooftops, you don’t have to type in capital letters to make sure you’re heard, you can just use a loudspeaker emoji for example.

4. They Show Our Gestures

In online talk, it is virtually impossible to tell someone that you are shrugging your shoulders or gasping in shock.

By using an emoji you can show someone exactly what your reaction is by choosing an emoji that relates to what you’re doing.

5. They Add Context

Emojis have added richness to online communication. Not only have they allowed people to convey how they think and feel, they add context to situations by giving visual personalities to the people using them. They also attach additional context to a situation by setting the mood, tone, and conditions.

5 Ways That Emojis Are Harming The Way We Communicate

Emojis are there to make our lives easier, funnier, and more entertaining. It is no wonder that so many people of all ages are relying on them. While they offer some positives to online communication, they also come with some negatives. It is easy to misconstrue their meaning and they can have an effect on how we send and perceive messages.

1. They Make People Lazy

Emojis are incredibly convenient, especially when you don’t feel like typing a complete sentence to say how you feel. For example, if you’re feeling sick, you can just select the emoji that conveys sickness. Or if you want to tell someone you love them, you can just choose the heart or kiss emoji.

Rather than explaining themselves, people tend to choose an emoji that encompasses the whole context of what is actually going on, and this can be perceived as lazy by the person on the receiving end (especially if it’s not the response they were hoping for).

2. They Can Lead to Misunderstandings

With so many emojis out there, there is a high chance that many of them can lead to misunderstandings. If you’ve ever received an emoji that you’re not familiar with, and had to Google what it is, you probably missed the sender’s real meaning.

For example, the See-No-Evil Monkey is usually used when someone has made a mistake, and they want to say “oops”, but it can also be perceived otherwise. See-No-Evil comes from a Japanese proverb and expresses a desire to not dwell on evil thoughts. This may have people totally confused.

It is no wonder that people are wanting emoji face meanings explained before they reply to someone inappropriately.

3. They Keep Communication Vague and Inconsistent

Sometimes it’s easier to type a few words in and stick a bunch of vague emojis at the end of a message to indicate how you feel. This is common with teens and kids who are using emojis at any given opportunity. Rather than prompting people to explain how they feel and what they think, emojis are enabling us to keep things vague and inconsistent.

4. They Can Cover Up How You’re Really Feeling

If you’re good at writing and expressing yourself, then your mood will come through in the words you write. With emojis, it’s easy to nullify something you’ve said by adding an emoji that says the opposite. For example, you’ve just told somebody that you’re upset, but you’ve used the dizzy emoji, which could indicate that you’re confused or overwhelmed but not necessarily upset.

5. You Could Be Viewed as Unprofessional

If you’re used to using emojis in your personal conversations, there is a likelihood that your communication style could spill into your work environment. When you’re having a serious conversation with someone about work on a work chat channel, and you add some emojis in, you may be perceived as unprofessional, incompetent, or immature.

Emojis Have a Time and a Place

As the saying goes, “everything in moderation”, and the same can be said for emojis. While there are so many benefits to using them in everyday chats with friends and family, there is also a chance that they can cause confusion.

If you’re having a hard time expressing yourself online, there are ways that you can improve your communication skills rather than rely on emojis and emoticons to do the job for you.

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