The Etiquette Of Emojis

Turns out the ancient Egyptians were onto something: in addition to the ever-expanding, hieroglyphic-like alphabet of iPhone emojis, Facebook is now testing reaction emojis.

Clearly, our communication in The Future will take place exclusively via little pictures of eggplants and skulls and pieces of poo. So it's important that we set a few ground rules while we still can.

If you're a latecomer to the emoji scene, here's a chance to get caught up - and prevent a faux pas before you start.

Emojis are for your BFFs.

No long rows of hearts, no messages with words replaced by emojis, and especially no poo emoji, unless you are sure you're on good terms. Following up "I'm running late, sorry" to an acquaintance with an angry face, a car, and bouquet of flowers, suggests an undertone of desperation. Emoji use denotes a certain intimacy, which must be earned.

Follow your friend's lead.

Does she use them in every message? Go to town. Does he never use them? Be equally judicious with your emojis.

Mix it up.

Some people get so hung up on a single emoji (think the kiss, or worse, the winky face) that it's summarily stripped of all meaning. Remember, the point is to clarify tone: tailor the emoji to the context.

Choose the situation wisely.

Death? Injury? Divorce? Use your words. You get zero points for sending old man, angel, and ghost emojis after your friend's grandpa dies. That makes you a bad person.

Emojis go at the end of your thought.

Just as you wouldn't place a question mark in the middle of sentence, you shouldn't stick random emojis in the middle of your message unless you're using it to replace a word (which is probably more work than just typing out what you're trying to say). The emoji goes at the end of the message.


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