Did You Know Emojis Could Do THAT?

They can make you smile.  Or cringe.  Or annoy the hell out of you if you're someone like me, who gets one in an email and doesn't have a clue what it stands for.  

We're talking emojis.

How can something invented barely 20 years ago in Japan (has it really been that long?).  And who came up with the word???

In any event, a new report investigates what effect they have on pretty much the last place you'd expect them.  The workplace.  Or, at least, the places I worked.  In fact, sending and receiving emojis in the workplace could have an impact on productivity and innovation in the workplace, according to newswise.com.

University of Delaware management professor Kyle Emich has explored the effects of emotions on teams and performance and is now taking on what effect, if any, they have on innovation and productivity.
"In our lab, we normally induce emotional states by showing people happy or sad video clips or pictures," he tells newswise.com. "For example, we show students a video of a dancing dog and hippo to make them feel happy. There is no reason why receiving an emoji cannot similarly induce a happy or sad state.
"People also tend to mimic what others are doing, so seeing someone else in a good or bad mood could cause you to mimic that mood through something called 'affective contagion.' So, since emojis use facial expressions, they may effectively induce affect by making people feel the emotion the emoji displays," he goes on.
One study his team worked on found that when you’re in a good mood, you’re more likely to try to initiate your team’s communication process by asking people what information they have and creating an open environment where they’re more likely to share information. And if you share information, you’re likely to solve the problem or challenge facing the team.
And good moods can encourage people not just to work with others, but to help them as well, since good moods are associated with increased pro-social motivation (the desire to build social relationships).
"If you’re thinking about a work problem and you’re stuck on the problem, getting a nice positive jolt can really help you to think of an answer that you haven’t thought of before since being happy is also linked with being creative," he adds.
Other research sound evidence that receiving happy emojis can have an impact on how you see your social network by making you more likely to consider people that you might not normally contact. "Since emojis are already on a device that contains your entire network, they could be particularly effective for encouraging people to interact with acquaintances," Emich says.
We know that beyond that, a good mood has many other positive effects. "This mainly stems from an increased level of dopamine in your brain, which allows you to be able to connect things more quickly and to consider more elements of your environment as connected. So, you are better able to seek out a diverse set of information, connect that information and come up with creative and useful solutions," he noted. "Therefore, receiving a positive emoji, or any emoji that makes you happy, has the potential to allow you to solve problems in new ways, be more helpful and be a better member of your organization."



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