Want to go on more dates and have more sex? You’d better start working on your emoji skills.
There’s two kinds of people: those who love emojis, and those who don’t. The world of emojis can be daunting if you’re not into it, but if you are into it, it almost becomes second nature. Millions of people routinely use emojis, sometimes conveying surprisingly complex messages with a string of seemingly nonsensical emojis.
This makes a lot of sense. Nonverbal communication is every bit as important as verbal communication, and in the online world, emojis and other smiley faces have taken up the role of this nonverbal communication — they’ve become the de facto body language. As dating apps such as Tinder become more common and take up some of the role of “traditional dating”, emoji usage becomes even more important, because communication options are limited at first, and you need every bit of help to get your message across. But there’s a catch.
A recent study found that emoji usage doesn’t really seem to be correlated with getting more first dates. However, it seems to be well correlated with most steps of a relationship journey — from the number of second dates, to the number of date kisses, as well as the, uhm, other things. Simply put, people who use more emojis go out on more dates and have more intimate time with their prospective partners.
“This research provides evidence that emojis convey important affective information to potential partners, and are potentially associated with more successful intimate connection,” the study authors explain.
“[W]e find that the use of emojis allows daters to communicate important affective information to potential partners which facilitates successful intimate connection and more romantic and sexual opportunities,” stated the study, which included over 5,000 people.
There is an important mention to be made: causation was not directly discussed in the study. In other words, it may not be the emoji usage that’s doing the magic, but something different altogether. It may even be a reverse causation: people who are more into each other are using more emojis, presumably because they feel more comfortable to do so.
There could also be important cultural distinctions between participants. Out of this study, 86.8% identified as being straight and 62.2% identified as White/Caucasian — which is not representative of the entire population. Participants were 5,327 single American adults (2,991 women; 2,335 men, 1 identifying as a separate gender). Clearly, more research is required to clarify how general the findings are.
Lastly, researchers don’t really know which emojis are best to use to increase your dating odds. It could be that a lot of emoji talk comes from sexting — yes, I’m looking at you aubergine emoji and peach emoji — which could be an important bias.
“[W]e cannot fully know which emojis are most effective at helping to form connections between people,” admitted the study.
Andrei's background is in geophysics, and he's been fascinated by it ever since he was a child. Feeling that there is a gap between scientists and the general audience, he started ZME Science -- and the results are what you see today.