Tinder, a popular dating app, released a list of India’s top eight most used emojis in profile bios for World Emoji Day. Emojis for smiling, coffee, cars, pets, pizza, dancing, camera and folded palms are the ones that made it to the top 8.
In an interaction with millennials who use various social networking sites, we find out what their favourite emoji is and why.
Adrian Kagoo, an entrepreneur says, “I don’t use emojis a lot but I definitely do throw in a few in places where they are necessary. To me, it is a medium to convey my emotions. For instance, I use the phrase ‘shut up’ very frequently. While it literally translates to ‘stop talking’, that is not what I always intend to say. I could say shut up when someone has said something really funny and I have laughed till my tummy hurts, meaning stop, I can’t laugh anymore. To convey this I would say shut up followed by a laughing emoji to make myself clear.”
While the debate of why you should have to shed a tear or break into laughter to let someone know how you feel is reasonable, does the intended message always get conveyed?
Eldhose M Joy, a senior software engineer at Accenture says, “The emoji for poop, when it came into being, was misunderstood to be an emoji for ice-cream. The same way, an emoji that is used to symbolise one thing can be misunderstood for something else. I mostly use the laughing emoji sarcastically but I don’t think the other person ever gets it. Emojis do make the task of expressing yourself way easier. I don’t have to type a long message to tell somebody how I feel. If someone says something to offend me I just have to send the emoji with the closed eyes and straight lips, saves me a lot of time and energy; if the receiver understands what I mean, that is.”
Maria Senora Sukumar, a content developer at CureSkin has found solace in binge using the emojis. She says, “I use the laughing emoji and the one which has eyes looking upwards, I call it the eye roll emoji. It is mostly to keep the conversation light. Very often when I am texting, the conversation tends to get serious, to avoid the serious tone and the possibility of a fight I use emojis. I use a lot of emojis when I am expressing my excitement.”
There are two sides to every coin. Although a few feel the need to express themselves through emojis rather than words a few others feel otherwise and yet, find themselves being pushed to use them more often.
Teena Vellara, an entrepreneur says, “I am not someone who uses emojis a lot. In fact, I don’t like it if anyone bombards me with emojis because I feel they aren’t taking me seriously or the conversation isn’t heading towards anything meaningful. The need for an emoji steps in when the other person does not know you well enough. But I do use the basic emojis to be polite. The smiling and heart emojis are the ones I use most. I have been in situations where people have assumed that I am mad at them or disinterested in the conversation because I don’t use emojis. I really don’t feel the need.”