I don’t do much online dating. This is because I don’t enjoy the process. I tend to like to get to know people in person, establish friendships, and possibly date down the road once I’ve had time and opportunity to see how they treat people in general, not just when they’re dating others. (I’m glad I haven’t had the desire to date during COVID-19 because my normal way of doing things is impossibly dangerous at the moment.)
But I have done a little online dating, even so. The last time was about 5 years ago and only for a few weeks When I did, I have this one friend who advised me re: online dating that when you’re chatting with someone new back and forth and have nothing else to say to them to just send an emoji.
Their reasoning was a half-joking (possibly offensive to some of you, but it was what they said) “chicks dig emojis.”
It was honestly not the worst tip. I’ve had many occasions where I was stuck in a conversation online with someone else but wanting to continue it (and they weren’t giving me a lot to work with), and an emoji came to my rescue.
Simplistic sure? But hey. It’s worked on occasion.
And according to research, this isn’t the only potential benefit to emoji use in online dating.
Frequent Emoji Use Linked with More First Dates and More Romantic and Sexual Activity
This is believed to be due to the fact that emojis help to convey meaning and intention in written communication, something that can be difficult to establish in online courtship.
It’s worth noting that this current study is a correlational one and doesn’t establish a causality because of lack of experimental manipulation. It’s also worth noting that this study only looks into interactions between strangers and does not at all address how emoji use might shape interactions with people we already know.
Still, it’s an interesting study — with findings that I’ll be thinking of for a while yet.
This post is part of an ongoing Poly Land feature called Psyched for the Weekend, in which I geek out with brief takes about some of my favorite psychological studies and concepts. For the entire series, please see this link.