Most smartphone users and internet surfers have come across an emoji or two… or hundreds.
These little creepy and entertaining faces help add some personality to the impersonal world of technology. But I’m not going to go preaching about user interface design, or anything. I’d actually like to point out a very odd, but eye opening experience I had while utilizing emojis.
Initially, I didn’t realize that your emojis were arranged from most to least used on your keyboard.
This is what mine currently looks like:
Pretty average, nothing special.
A few weeks ago, though, my keyboard was in a very different order. Unfortunately I don’t have a screen shot (I know that ruins your morning, right?), but I do remember which ones were in the top three.
When I finally figured out that these were the first ones because they were used the most, I was so surprised that I used such negative faces in just about every text.
To be honest, I actually didn’t feel that great, either. I was nervous, on edge, and generally irritable. Not because I used those faces, but because of some other things I had on my plate.
These were the faces that I texted to my good friends and significant other.
Those are really sad faces to be using in fun, simple text messages. And to be quite frank, if any of my friends constantly texted me those faces, I’d be kind of annoyed. Nobody likes a brooder.
So even if I wasn’t feeling it, I tried putting sillier, happier faces in my texts. Even if I wasn’t particularly in the mood, I change one of my cynical texts around so that a happier face would look appropriate with it.
Oddly enough, I feel much happier.
I don’t think that this correlation is directly related, but I do find it interesting that after changing my texting style, my mood has lifted.
I think having a visualization of my thought process forced me to look at how negative I was thinking. Maybe typing happier texts helped me get back to thinking more positive.
I’m no psychologist, so I couldn’t really say. I remember learning in high school that thinking positive thoughts, and writing down three positive things each day could greatly improve one’s outlook on life. Honestly, I don’t think there’s any way to really test that hypothesis, since happiness is such an abstract concept.
However, I can say that switching my emoji choices around helped me think more positive.