Women Twice As Likely As Men to Use Emoticons

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Photo: Michael Poehlman/Corbis

Women are twice as likely as men to use emoticons in text messages, says a new Rice University study. The study looked at smartphone data from men and women over six months, including 124,000 text messages. The participants were given free iPhones (free iPhones?!) to use for the six-month period but did not know what the researchers would look at. 100 percent of users sent at least one emoticon, and 4 percent of users send an emoticon with every text. Three expressions accounted for 70 percent of emoticons sent: sad, happy, and very happy. “The study also confirms previous research that women are more emotionally expressive in nonverbal communication; however, in this research, the authors found that while women may use emoticons more than men, the men used a larger variety of emoticons to express themselves.” :( What are these secret emoticons men know about that we don't?