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Emoji at work

I’ve noticed how several teams I’ve been a part of have been using emoji reactions feature in Slack. This is a bit weird to me. Why would one exchange the powerful expresiveness of text for a limited, though very cute, set of icons?

I thought it might be because we actually have to communicate with more people in a faster way these days. Or because perhaps text isn’t that expressive at all, at least in the shortest form — one can be perceived as very angry or simply pragmatic and friendly while sending out the same message. Or perhaps emoji may have more meaning compressed into them and they have a positive connotation by default?

For example, the last reply in the a chat conversation like this:

can be perceived quite sad and even almost official. However, if you just replace the same last sentence with several emojis:

it already looks very much friendlier. The meaning of the message is kind of the same though.

Without even a note of condemnation, I imagine that sometime in the past, a person who heard an idea, that people would be using emojis instead of writing actual messages in a work context, — they laughed out loud!