Emojis as a novel way to communicate using WhatsApp
AbstractThis study sought to discover the possible effects of emoji use on WhatsApp communication. Students make use of WhatsApp groups when studying and the correct use of emoji use is thus important in teaching and learning. The rise in emoji use is noticeable in online conversations; emojis are often used in combination with text to communicate emotions and context and has become a universal language in South African informal conversations, especially on social media. Messages are characterised using emojis for that extra impetus or effect, yet they can lead to confusion between the sender and the recipient of the text message. In this mixed-methods study a questionnaire was used to test responses (n = 50) to a selection of emojis and twelve (12) participants participated in semi-structured interviews on their perceptions of emoji use. It was found that most of emoji users understood the true meaning of these pictures and agreed with the denotative meaning. However, certain emojis were misinterpreted and emoji education seems necessary to inform Internet users of the emojipedia meanings.
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