A picture is worth a thousand words: The use and the impact of emojis in private communication with respect to gender differences

Wera Aretz

In recent years, the use of digital media has increased exponentially and significantly influenced the way we communicate. According to a current survey of Bitkom (2018) more than two-thirds of messenger users integrate emojis into their digital communication. The aim of this research is to examine the frequency and the effect of the use of various emojis. An online survey of n = 264 respondents showed, that emojis are most frequently used to express positive emotions, although gender differences are noticeable. In addition, emojis have a positive impact on the perception of individuals: the author of a message with emojis is perceived as more likeable; the author of a message without emojis as more strong-willed. The meaning of the presented results is discussed from a theoretical and practical perspective.

Keywords: emoji, digital communication, gender differences, messenger

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