The conclusion is clear. Over the past year, the pandemic and social distancing restrictions have increased the use of instant messaging services. From professional exchanges to family and friendships, we are increasingly asked to express ourselves in writing. In this context, the lack of elements of non-verbal communication makes the use of emojis more than necessary to be understood.
For some years now, these emoticons have become more and more comprehensive to take into account the variety of situations. There is no denying progress in this area, but it still doesn’t seem enough if we are to believe the results of a survey conducted by Adobe. A survey therefore made it possible to interview 7,000 people from seven countries: France, USA, Great Britain, Germany, Japan, Australia and South Korea.
Younger users are most involved in this topic
One thing is clear from the start: 83% of respondents believe that an even more comprehensive representation is needed for emoticons. We also find that only half of users think their identity is correctly reflected in the current collection of emojis.
This is especially true for people with a disability, only 37% of whom need to be identified with the options currently available. In particular, they suggest the use of auxiliary items that they use, such as wheelchairs, a cane, or even hearing aids. However, this idea is not unanimous, and some respondents believe that reducing their disability to an object jeopardizes their ability to express themselves authentically.
Efforts could also be made to further customize the emojis. In addition to skin color, which can already be changed, internet users are actually asking for the option of choosing the hairstyle, hair color, body types, or eye color.
It is the youngest users, Generation Z (born between 1997 and 2010, Editor’s Note) and Millennials who are the most demanding in this area. 77 and 75% of them believe that more inclusive emoticons can help develop discussions about social issues in a positive way.