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Uh-Oh: New Study Says Smiley Emojis May Make You Appear Incompetent

A warm hello, a sarcastic comment, a friendly send-off: If you’re anything like us, you’ve sprinkled smiley emojis in your emails more times than you can count, even when you’re at work.

However, according to a new study published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, the sideways smiley faces may do more harm than good when it comes to people’s perceptions.

Researchers found that people whose emails contained “:)” were perceived as less competent than those whose emails didn’t contain the smiley, and it only marginally increased perceptions of the sender’s warmth. 

In addition, smiley-filled emails were less likely to garner info in a reply. For example, the person responding to the email often provided fewer details when the original email had the emoticon.

Our takeaway: If you want your boss to give you as much feedback as possible about your latest report, make sure you’re not signing off with these guys. :) :) :) 

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