Tag Archives: emoji

People interpret emojis in different ways

Emojis are used very widely by a diverse range of people. A recent study hoped to find how individuals interpret emojis, and if there was a general consensus among individuals about what different emojis meant.

The study, led by researchers from a Research lab, called GroupLens, at the University of Minnesota, found that individuals often view emojis in different ways. The discoveries will be presented in May at the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence’s Conference on Web and Social Media in Germany.

Emojis can be cryptic in meaning. Graphic from Get Emoji
Emojis can be cryptic in meaning. Graphic from Get Emoji

The study discovered that individuals who viewed the same emoji disagreed on if the emoji expressed a negative, neutral or positive feeling approximately 25 percent of the time. For 95 percent of emojis, individuals did not strongly agree on what feeling the emoji expressed.

Each mobile platform has its own version of emojis, because of this, interpreting emojis can be particularly problematic when the sender and the receiver are using separate platforms.

The study’s participants, made up of 334 individuals, rated a total of 125 emojis. They were asked to rate the feeling expressed by an emoji on a scale from –5 (strongly negative) to 5 (strongly positive).

The researchers discovered, on average, that when two individuals viewed the same emoji, their feeling ratings were different by approximately 1.8 points, and when they looked at different versions of the same emoji, their ratings were different by approximately 2 points.

Individuals used contrasting words to describe the different renderings of the same emojis. For instance, when viewing the emoji of a “person raising both hands in celebration” individuals used words like “hand” or “celebrate” to describe the emoji from the Apple version, and words like “exciting” or “high” to describe the Microsoft version.

According to the study, the findings suggest that it would benefit users to merge the design of emojis across all platforms, which could lower the probability of miscommunication.

According to researchers, future studies may determine how individuals view emojis when they are viewed in the context of a text message, or if individuals from separate cultures also view emojis differently. Because the new study only looked at emoji with human characteristics, or anthropomorphic, future studies could investigate how individuals view non-anthropomorphic emojis.

New Snapchat update causes outrage

Ever since its popularity skyrocketed a few years back, Snapchat (a picture sharing app that only allows recipients of a photo to see it for a certain amount of seconds before it vanishes), has been the cause of many a breakup, thanks to its infamous “best friends list.” This list made it possible to see who your significant other was sending pictures to and receiving them from — a problem because Snapchat’s notorious for nude picture trading. Back in January, a Snapchat update got rid of the best friends list and allowed cheaters everywhere to once again “snap” their illicit lovers without the fear of getting caught.

Snapchat is taking criticism. Graphic from Wikimedia Commons
Snapchat is taking criticism. Graphic from Wikimedia Commons

Now here we are in spring of 2015 and a new update has rattled girls all over the internet. If you go to your Snapchat “friends” list, you will see an emoji beside some  friends’ names. These emojis all mean different things about your Snapchat friendship status with the person. The golden heart means that you are each other’s best friend; the “grimace” face with  bared teeth, means that you and the person each have the same best friend; the smile indicates someone  you frequently send pictures to; the face with the sunglasses means that you and the person both have a close friend in common; the smirk means that you’re their best friend, but they aren’t yours; and the fire means that the two of you have snapped each other for however many days in a row are listed beside the flame.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see why this is a serious problem. All of the mischievous snappingthat had been going on between the “best friends list” feature disappearing and the new update has been made public. So now there’s only one question: did the creators do this on purpose to expose infidelity?

Buzzfeed’s Carley Washa’s recent article, “Definitive Proof Snapchat Is The Biggest Snitch of All Time,” described the update as “literally like Snapchat brought back the feature to show which cheaters took advantage of the update.”

Whether or not the minds behind Snapchat intended to create pandemonium remains to be seen. After all, despite its reputation, Snapchat isn’t the only social media site to have a hand in aiding cheating lovers– Facebook and Tinder have been in the hot seat too. Hopefully these updates will show users that no matter how secretive they think they’re being about their affairs, these sites can reveal everything with one click. If nothing else, this update should teach people that privacy involving the internet is not a thing — and to be more discreet with their online actions.