1. To emoji or not to emoji? New York couple Alex Goldmark and Liza Stark recently chose the former — wanting to see what would happen if they used only emojis in their texts for 30 days.
3. The pair prepped for the experiment by downloading several apps including WeChat, a Chinese-made messaging service with decidedly vital emojis, like a love-struck headless robot and a Jazzercising frog:
“I am not a visual thinker… but my girlfriend [is],” Alex said in an interview on the WNYC radio show New Tech City, where he’s a producer. “So we signed up to be the New Tech City guinea pigs to see if this could help our relationship just a little bit.”
4. To start, they each assigned themselves an emoji: the hat-clad guy for Alex, the brunette girl for Liza. But even then, some things got lost in translation — like this conversation:
In it, Liza is telling Alex not to meet her for drinks that night, because her friend just had a death in the family. But Alex said he interpreted it as, “Oh, you missed me!”
6. What did they learn after 30 days of emojis-only? “I found myself willing to send a lot more — what you might call — cheesy, affectionate messages,” said Alex. “It’s easier to just tap a button… than it might be for me to actually type it out.”
The experiment also forced the pair to work harder at understanding each other, which they said ultimately brought them closer together as a couple. Even after the month was up, Alex and Liza said they found themselves reverting back to emojis instead of texts — because they missed using them, and because they can convey more.