Emojis: A Double-Edged Sword in Digital Communication ⚔️

Heading with various examples of emojis.

By now, I am sure you have used an emoji or two.  

I’d be willing to bet you’ve even used them on social media to express some emotions or rack up post engagement.  

You probably have even come across an emoji you weren’t too sure what the emotion or action was trying to depict.  

Emoji Means Wut?

Although emojis seemed to be straightforward to us, that may not always be the case.

For example, I tend to use 🙇 ️to convey feelings of stress or confusion. However, according to Emojipedia, this emoji’s intended meaning is a deep bow (also known as dogeza in Japanese culture).  

Or 💫 is not actually a shooting star but rather is meant to represent dizziness as seen in comics and animation. 

So, although emojis can enhance the emotion and tone of our communications, it is important to note that emojis definitely pose as a double-edged sword.  

Emojis are not always universally understood amongst cultures and various groups of people. They can be misinterpreted, distract your audience from the true message, and even come across as unprofessional or immature.  

Pros of Emojis in Digital Communication: Gives Subtle Nuances Lost Over Text Alone, Enhances Emotion and Tone of Message, Reduce Language Barries, Fun and Engaging. Cons of Emojis in Digital Communication: Can Come Across as Unprofessional, Can Distract From the Intended Message, Not Universally Understood, Can Be Misinterpreted, Confusing, or Offensive.

Emojis with Intention

If you’re like me, you probably spend some time (maybe too much time!) carefully selecting what emoji fits best with the message you are trying to get across to your audience.  

And I don’t blame you! It is important we select our emojis with intention.  

As creators, we need to be aiming to encode our ideas appropriately so that our audience (or receivers), can accurately decode, interpret, and understand what we are trying to communicate 

icon of people talking

Final Thoughts

Be intentional when you are communicating with your audience. Your goal should go beyond showing them something pretty you created for the company’s Instagram page. Use your content as a way to inform and connect with your audience.  

Use the emojis but use them to enhance your message.  

Now go to Emojipedia and look up some of your favorite emojis! Did they mean what you thought they did? Comment below and let me know what you found!

Comment below some of your favorite emojis and how you use them in your marketing!

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