Have you ever gotten a peach emoji text from your grandma or a sweating red-faced emoji with its tongue sticking out from your mom and wondered what they were thinking? Hopefully it was just to tell you that Grams was making a peach cobbler and mom’s AC was broken, but you can’t really blame them. It turns out, older people just aren’t great at using emojis.

new study looks into the way gender, age and culture affect the way people understand emojis. Researchers from the University of Nottingham in the U.K. found that older people tend to misuse emojis and have a harder time correctly identifying them.

  • For the study, 500 men and women between the ages of 18 and 84 from the U.K. and China were asked to identify popular emojis used in text messages and social media posts - happy, disgusted, fearful, sad, surprised and angry emojis.
  • The findings reveal that women were better than men at correctly labeling emojis for happy, fearful, sad and angry.
  • Participants from the U.K. tended to do better than those from China at recognizing emoji emotions, but the Brits also struggled to recognize the “disgusted” face.
  • Researchers suggest that the reason women were better than men across the board at recognizing emoji meanings is because they’re more sensitive to recognizing the emotions of human babies. Men also struggle to grasp the emotion emojis represent because they’re less sensitive than women, according to study authors.

“Some ‘universal’ facial emotions may not be ‘universal’ when they transfer to emoji,” explains lead study author Dr. Hannah Howman. “Our findings in relation to age and culture highlight the importance of context in emoji use.”

Source: Daily Mail

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