If you’re seeking relationship bliss circa 2017, look no further than your phone.
It seems emojis, those expressive pictures all over texts and Instagram, could actually help our love lives. In his new book, “The Emoji Code,” to be published in the U.S. in August by MacMillan Picador, British linguist Vyv Evans argues that emojis are making us better communicators.
Evans calls emojis a “near-universal form of communication,” replacing internet slang like LOL with the popular “face with tears of joy” emoji.
And while he says some see the little glyphs as “little more than an adolescent grunt,” Evans says those people couldn’t be more wrong.
Evans’ research found that 72 percent of 18- to 25-year-olds find it easier to express their emotions if they’re using emojis. And 80 percent of people in the U.K. said they use them.
There’s a reason for that: Digital communication has stripped away important context like gestures, facial expressions and tone of voice. Emails and texts often come across as more ambiguous — or mean-spirited — than intended.
Enter the emoji. Adding a little smiley face or winking eye can convey joking or sarcasm. A text that says “Sure, go ahead!” with a kissy face could read more like “sure … go ahead” without one.
A Match.com survey of singles in America found that people who use emojis went on more dates and were more likely to have sex than those who didn’t. More than half of singles who used emojis had sex in 2014, compared to 31 percent of singles who didn’t, according to the survey.
If this leaves you with a confused face, and you don’t even know how to express that in emoji, check out this quick primer of definitions from Emojipedia.