Nightmare scenario: You’re texting someone you’ve recently met. The banter is good, great even. The romantic vibes are high, and you can tell that they’re feeling it too. You make plans to hang out. That’s when you get this message:
“Can’t wait to see you 🍆”
Do you have the immediate ick? You’re not alone.
According to a new study from Adobe, the eggplant emoji is the third most likely emoji to make you seem less likable in conversation, especially while flirting. Interestingly, it ranks after the poop emoji (💩) and angry emoji (😠) at first and second place respectively, both of which are considerably less vulgar in typical usage. This comes ahead of the release of Unicode 15.0 expected later this month, which should bring with it a whole host of new emoji.
In terms of emoji that will boost your likability in romantic conversations, the study found the face throwing a kiss emoji (😘), the smiling face with hearts emoji (🥰), and the smiling face with heart eyes emoji (😍) to be best , in that respective order. And that makes sense to us — they’re all pretty lovey-dovey, generally adorable emoji to both send and receive.
Emoji helped me find my voice in our new remote reality
Using emoji in general seems to enhance conversation efforts, according to the study. A vast majority of the people surveyed (91 percent) agreed that emoji make it easier to express themselves, oftentimes in a variety of settings. Reasons cited for this ease of conversation include overcoming language barriers, increased comfort with emotional expression, and generally just making conversation more fun.
But that’s not to say all emoji usage can be so straightforward. The face with cowboy hat (🤠), cherries (🍒), and upside down face emoji (🙃) all tend to cause some confusion, with survey responders indicating that these emoji are most often misunderstood. This probably stems from the fact that half of US emoji users use tons of emoji in different ways from their original intention. Take our old friend the eggplant emoji, for instance. We’ve all come to recognize it as a certain euphemism, but it’s hard to think that its original creators assumed it would be interpreted so. Alas, the wonders of modern language.
So if you’re truly trying to impress an internet crush or strike up a conversation on a dating app, you probably want to stick with the tried and true likable emoji. But taking a chance on a wackier emoji might work out too. You might just find someone who looks at and immediately thinks about Lin Manuel Miranda too — and if that isn’t true love, we don’t know what is.