Repurposing emoji for personalised communication: Why [pizza slice] means “I love you”

Sarah Wiseman, Sandy J. J. Gould

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

21 Citations (Scopus)
1759 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The use of emoji in digital communication can convey a wealth of emotions and concepts that otherwise would take many words to express. Emoji have become a popular form of communication, with researchers claiming emoji represent a type of “ubiquitous language” that can span different languages. In this paper however, we explore how emoji are also used in highly personalised and purposefully secretive ways. We show that emoji are repurposed for something other than their “intended” use between close partners, family members and friends. We present the range of reasons why certain emoji get chosen, including the concept of “emoji affordance” and explore why repurposing occurs. Normally used for speed, some emoji are instead used to convey intimate and personal sentiments that, for many reasons, their users cannot express in words. We discuss how this form of repurposing must be considered in tasks such as emoji-based sentiment analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-5620-6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2018
EventACM CHI 2018 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2018) - Montreal, Canada
Duration: 21 Apr 201826 Apr 2018
https://chi2018.acm.org/

Conference

ConferenceACM CHI 2018 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2018)
Country/TerritoryCanada
CityMontreal
Period21/04/1826/04/18
Internet address

Keywords

  • Emoji
  • Computer Mediated Communication
  • Personalisation;
  • Digital Intimacy

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