August 15, 2017

Emoji backlash?

Q: Did you see that using emoji in work-related emails could hurt your career?


Q: Yes, it’s apparently a common email mistake

A: 😯

Q: The 549 study participants from 29 countries “were asked to read a work-related email from an unknown person, and were asked to evaluate the competence and warmth of the sender”

A:🤔 💻 🇹🇷

Q: Yes, they were from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (paper)

A: 😕

Q: Ok, so they weren’t really work-related emails from someone they’d never met, in another country. But the participants were told to pretend they were.

A: 🙁

Q: And it undermined information sharing

A: 😕 👥 💻 🤐 ?

Q: The email replies to messages with emoji had fewer words in them on average

A: 🤔 🙂

Q: Ok, yes, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

A: 👩‍💼👨🏽‍💼🗣 😀 ?

Q: Is it really common to use emoji in business email? Yes, they say nearly 20% of emails in one previous sample included emoji.

A: 🙄 🇬🇸🇸🇱🇸🇬🇸🇳🇸🇦 👩‍💼👨🏽‍💼🗣 😀 ?

Q: No, I suppose that wasn’t international emails between people who had never met or corresponded before.

A: 🙄

Q: So using emoji in formal emails to a complete stranger could be a bad idea?

A: 😴



Thomas Lumley (@tslumley) is Professor of Biostatistics at the University of Auckland. His research interests include semiparametric models, survey sampling, statistical computing, foundations of statistics, and whatever methodological problems his medical collaborators come up with. He also blogs at Biased and Inefficient

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