It has been scientifically proven that the more you smile the more people like you, but it turns out this this pattern might not necessarily translate all that well in the language of emoji.
Researchers from the University of Amsterdam, the University of Haifa and the Ben-Gurion University in Israel have discovered that using smiley face emoticons in formal business communication could be causing your colleagues and customers to doubt your brains.
“Our findings provide first-time evidence that, contrary to actual smiles, smileys do not increase perceptions of warmth and actually decrease perceptions of competence,” Ben-Gurion’s post-doctorate fellow Dr. Ella Glikson told EurekAlert. “In formal business e-mails, a smiley is not a smile.”
The research, which has been published in the Social Psychological and Personality Science Journal under the title The Dark Side of a Smiley, asked 549 participants from 29 different countries to read work-related emails from unknown people in order to evaluate the competence and warmth of the sender.
To make things more interesting, some emails contained smiley face emoji while others didn’t. The outcome revealed that, contrary to smiling in person, the smiley emoticons had no effect on these aspects in online communication.
In fact, the researchers discovered that smiley face emoji bore a negative impact on the receiver’s perception of the sender.
“The study also found that when the participants were asked to respond to e-mails on formal matters, their answers were more detailed and they included more content-related information when the e-mail did not include a smiley,” Glikson remarked. She also noted that smileys undermine information sharing.
The experiment also showed that, when anonymous, senders who included smiley face emoticons in their emails were often presumed to be women. This, however, had no relation to the evaluation of the individual’s competence or friendliness factors.
Glikson further added that, while “[p]eople tend to assume that a smiley is a virtual smile, but the findings of this study show that in the case of the workplace, at least as far as initial ‘encounters’ are concerned, this is incorrect.”
So next time you want to establish your aptitude with your remote-working higher-ups and customers, better forget about the 🙂 emoji.
Designer beautifully combines Helvetica and electronics to represent your favorite gadget brands
Rio de Janeiro-based graphics and motion designer Vinicius Araújo sure knows his way around gadgets: his new project, 36days Electronics, captures the essence of product design from 26 iconic hardware brands, in Helvetica letterforms for each letter of the alphabet.
The execution is as stunning as you could possibly imagine, incorporating memorable shapes, colorways, surfaces finishes and design elements from the likes of Apple, Canon, JBL, Motorola, Nintendo, Sony, and Western Digital.
As if that wasn’t enough, a few of them are beautifully animated too.
Find the entire project over at Araújo’s Behance gallery.
360 video shot over North Korea shows a sprawling, empty metropolis
Singaporean photographer Aram Pan was recently given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity when North Korean officials allowed him to shoot and release 360 video on a short flight over the capitol city of Pyongyang.
The significance of this being the “world’s first” 360-degree overhead video comes from the perpetual media blackout in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea – which is heavily enforced under dictator Kim Jong Un. The state restricts photography of all kinds and censors media with an iron fist.
Pan credits his approval to shoot and release the footage with his attitude toward the North Koreans, in an interview with NK News he said:
Perhaps it’s because I don’t see them as the terrifying people everyone thinks they are and I guess they feel that. I find that the friendlier I am, the more they naturally reveal themselves to me. There’s an old saying, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger”.
His imagery is quite remarkable, and while it’s obviously been edited – Pan says he was able to keep about 90 percent of his photographs – it shows the hidden country in a way we haven’t seen before.
I’m taken aback by the sterility of the environment in North Korea. In the video you barely see any traffic, there doesn’t appear to be any masses of people anywhere, and there isn’t a single piece of advertising in sight.
It’s amazing to think that North Korea was, basically, destroyed in the 1950’s as a result of the Korean war, yet today it’s remarkably beautiful — if not a little ghostly.
WhatsApp ditches Apple’s emoji to unveil its own unnecessary alternative
The new designs are currently available in the latest beta version of the app for Android, according to Emojipedia which first spotted the change. Up until now, the popular messenger used the Apple emoji set on both iOS and Android, as well as the web.
Despite taking the initiative to put together its own designs, WhatsApp certainly didn’t hesitate to draw inspiration from Apple’s own emoji – and the influence is difficult to ignore.
While the new emoticons will likely appeal to some users more than the old ones, this move seems like an unnecessary effort given that the new designs will likely confuse both Android and iOS users. Quite frankly, there is already too much choice when it comes to emoji.
The new set of emoji has yet to make its way to iOS – but will likely land on Apple’s mobile operating system in the near future. That is, if the company deems the Android trial successful enough to implement the same designs on iOS.
But since this is still merely a beta version, I wouldn’t get too happy – or mad – about the new emoji before WhatsApp has taken the steps to roll out the new sketches in the official release.
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