Keep Calm & Don’t Blow Your Semi-Colon
And to think, just yesterday we were all on AOL Instant Messenger with screen names like: Footballjohnny279 and xXcheergirl19Xx.
Well, it looks like the AIM days are back—and this time, with actual emojis (instead of parenthetical smiley faces and semi-colon winks). But what do all these emojis really mean? Sure, you know the eggplant and the peach, but what about all the others?
You might be texting a girl thinking things are going really, really well, when all of a sudden an emoji appears and you have no idea what it means. Is she flirting? Is she subtly inviting you back to her place? Or did she just want to send you a blossoming flower emoji because it looks pretty?
Step 1: Do not make any sudden moves. At least until you look at what some of these emojis and emoticons mean.
Seriously, if you don’t know what the emoji means, point blank, then stop. Just stop. You will get yourself in far worse trouble if you mistake an innocent emoji for a sexual innuendo—and that happens all the time (probably because that’s where every guy’s head is at).
Instead, just keep the conversation moving. Change the subject. Go where you want to go, and take her with—instead of reacting on the defensive and trying to play into something you don’t have a full read on yet. Trust that she’ll do it again if it means what you think it means. But otherwise, avoid it all together.
Emojis are a language in themselves. Often times, they don’t even mean something literal, or translate perfectly into the conversation. Emojis can be sent as a reflection of mood, or humor, or (as I mentioned) an undertone to the conversation. It’s another layer of communication, and what’s more important is that you pay attention to how the other person uses this language for themselves. Do they use emojis to say what they can’t or don’t want to in words? Do they use emojis to provide context or emphasis? Understanding the other person’s style is crucial to understanding them as a person—especially when it comes to females.
Dirty Flirty Messages Aren’t Always Best
Where a lot of guys go wrong is they think they need to be extra clever or extra subtle. Or they overthink the simplest emoji. Don’t sweat it. Use what makes sense to you and move on. Keep the conversation moving. If you sit there obsessing over the meaning of what she said, then you’re on the defensive—and you’re moving in the wrong direction.
Instead, carry on like nothing happened. Shift the conversation wherever it is you want it to go, and watch over time the way she uses emojis to express herself. This will give you a better sense of what she’s saying and, more importantly, how you can playfully reciprocate with your own palette of emojis.
Females love emojis. They are fun. They can say a lot in very little. It can be a game of expression between you and the girl you are talking to.
And just remember: When it double, the oldschool smiley face—a colon and a parenthetical—will never steer you wrong.