Recently, I had a chat with a friend of mine on WhatsApp, and it turned a bit awkward. It went like this.
He sent me an emoticon with the head upside down. I didn’t understand this emoticon because I’m not used to this. I only use just the ones very obvious and very usual. I thought he was drunk because it was late. I asked him if he was drunk. He said he wasn’t. Then I asked him why he sent me this, and he replied by another emoticon I didn’t understand either. I felt powerless and left the conversation after sending him a last emoticon.
GroupLens, a research Lab from the University of Minnesota, found that different people had vastly different interpretations of some popular emojis. Using emojis can be at high risk of miscommunication.
So, yes, it’s tricky to use emoticons in a conversation.
My friend is very complexed by his writings, and he usually sends me a lot of pictures and emojis to fill the conversation. Fortunately, he’s a much better conversation face to face and in groups.
But I wouldn’t recommend anyone to use emoticons to make a move with someone you fancy.
It’s the best way to fall into endless back and forth, and feel frustrated because it leads to nowhere.
A clear and firm invitation to meet for a drink, a coffee, a restaurant, … is always a better option.