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The Science Behind Smileys

The Science Behind Smileys

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While the exact date of the first emoticon is uncertain, “smileys” have become so prevalent that many researchers are taking a closer look at how and why we use them. Scientists have observed, for example, that women use smileys more frequently than men, and that using them too soon with a new acquaintance can be off-putting. There are even cultural differences between the most common smileys — for example, :-) is most commonly used in the United States to portray a smile, whereas Japanese texters are more likely to opt for ^_^.  It’s a fascinating read about how humans continue to find new ways to process emotion in a tech-savvy world.

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