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Here's Why US Singles Are So Into Emojis, According To Match.com

Communication
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Singles in the US are feeling totally emojional.

The days of the regular ol' smiley face are long gone. America has upped its emoticon game and we're officially living in the Age of Emoji.

Match.com is back with another installment of its annual Singles in America study. This year, they surveyed a nationally representative sample of over 5,600 US. singles aged 18 to 70+ years and one of 2015's hot topics was emoji use.

“If you had asked me a year ago what I thought of emoticons and emojis, I would have said they are fun and entertaining, but I probably wouldn’t have thought they could help our understanding of human behavior,” writes Dr. Justin R. Garcia. “But as more and more people of varying ages in my own social networks – family, friends, colleagues, dates – use emoticons and emojis...I’ve come to appreciate them as something more than funny little characters.”

To the uninitiated, emojis are practically another language. Even to the initiated, there's bound to be a character or two that's just puzzling. And to a growing number of behavioral scientists, emojis actually are a new form of nonverbal communication to be studied. “In an age of rapid mobile interaction,” Dr. Garcia writes, emojis are a 21st century system of emotional expression and interpersonal engagement “that can help us understand human affect.”

When asked why they use emojis, US singles offered three top reasons:

  • PERSONALITY: They give my text messages more personality (49% men, 53% women)
  • EMOTION: It’s easier for me to express my feelings (37% men, 36% women)
  • CONVENIENCE: It’s faster and easier than writing a full message (21% men, 18% women)

When asked which emojis singles favor for flirting, the following were the top three responses:

  • Winky face (53% of singles)
  • Smiley face (38% of singles)
  • Kissy face (27% of singles)

Emoji users shared several traits. 62% want to be married (compared to only 30% of non-emoji users) and are more likely to place a high value on finding a partner who is a good communicator. Emoji users are also much more likely to be actively dating and to have sex.

But don't take things too far. While 40% of singles use emoticons and emojis regularly, nearly 75% agree that you should limit your use to 1-3 per conversation. Any more than that, and you may text yourself straight out of a date.

For more on the service which conducted this study you can read our Match.com review.