There's a big problem with this emoji

Bethan McKernan@mck_beth
Wednesday 13 April 2016 12:00
Science and Tech

We don't know about you, but 😁 is one of our favourite emoji.

It conveys so much in that awkward just-kinda-smiling-cos-I-can't-think-of-another-reaction-and-isn't-this-socially-awkward kinda way.

I can't come tonight, I'm meeting my girlfriend's parents 😁

The official Unicode name for it is 'grinning face with smiling eyes', but lots of platforms call it a grimace instead - and how the different icons appear on different platforms is up to developers.

Grouplens Lab at the University of Minnesota have actually gone and complied data on how positively 'grinning face with smiling eyes' is actually viewed by different users.

So while you might send what you think is the cheeky grin of a Google Nexus emoji, your friend might get the much more neutral Apple version pop up on their iPhone.

The researchers claim that the misinterpreted emotions can cause quite a lot of communication problems 😱

And what's more, the paper found people even interpret the same emoji differently 😱😱

We're not sure whether this should come as a surprise since everyone under the age of 40 decided to start communicating in yellow hieroglyphics.

But next time you're about to send 😁, maybe add some context in words to avoid any 💩.

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