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I get to teach some pretty kick-ass content. Relationships and sex. And everything in between. Of particular interest is communication in relationships. And because I try to keep the content “real” for my students, I wanted to cover texting and the use of emojis in the context of interpersonal relationships.

Well I’m not sure how…but I am using a textbook that was literally published this year (that’d be 2015, folks) and they don’t talk about texting….wha???? Unreal. So I had to go find some data. And here is what it is…

Based on’s “Singles in America” data (5,600 single US participants)…there are some texting do’s and texting don’ts.

Welcome to Emoji Skool!

Read carefully…

1. Emojis NOT to be used (this is based on singles reporting they would NEVER use these emoji)

(A no  list of emojis, if you will)


 184-kiss-mark 160x160x85-see-no-evil-monkey.png.pagespeed.ic.dCoZ8IyrSj 137-information-desk-person


2. Maximum 3 emojis PER text


 emoji_set_480 74-smiling-cat-face-with-open-mouth 0753-2


Not Okay:

0528emoji_set_101 01476-winking-face6-winking-face


Note re 2/text:

I get a lot of questions if it it’s okay to use multiple emojis to really emphasize what you want to convey is okay (e.g., ). User choice here! I’d say the same emoji repetitively is okay but…not a long lists of random emojis.


Like this little screen grab here:


Too much!!

3. Use the winkey emoji carefully!

Depending on your gender and the gender of your receiver, people can READ a lot into what that little winkie  6-winking-face means. WINK WINK.

Three winkies in a row? Now you’re really asking for trouble.

4. Use emojis to customize your texts

A well-placed emoji can really personalize your text. This can show some real ingenuity in your messages…


…or it might make you look like a real idiot.

I like to text a good friend of mine “ dawg” (see that? no more than 3!) Buuuuut, I’m not exactly sending that to my mom (even though she’s a pretty intense emoji user).

Use some discretion at which emojis you choose to send to whom, friends.


5. Communicate emotion via emoji

We all know that since we lack a sarcastic font, sometimes people need a decoder ring to really understand texts. Adding an emoji to the written text may help the receiver understand more clearly  

And btw….according to the Singles in America data, people who use emoji are more likely to report monthly sexual activity.
And for the piece de resistance….according to the their data…


Men are more likely to use the following emojis:

7-smiling-face-with-heart-shaped-eyes-2 8-face-throwing-a-kiss-2


Yeah! That’s right….men sending heart eyes and blowing heart emojis more often than women. Ha!
Women were more likely to use these emojis:

184-kiss-mark 0749

And why should you care about who uses emojis? Well, according to that Singles in America data, those who are use at least one emoji per text reported more frequent sexual activity. Boom. 

And according to a recent Atlantic article, just btw….here in Canada, apparently we like the 91-pile-of-poo

…..which is likely not as good as our US counterparts who like Eggplant-Emoji the most.


And good for iPhone who has come out with a less Caucasian set of emojis apple-diversifying_emoji2


If you are looking to spice up your texts, check out these new very sexy emoji (but so far these aren’t built in to any emoji add-on package, you have to copy and paste them into your message – as if!)


“Those fun and entertaining characters are changing what we know about intimate communication, flirting, and how the evolved human brain makes use of the world around it.”
(Garcia, 2015)


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