Here's What Your Emojis Say About You

First Posted: Jan 21, 2017 03:10 AM EST

Whether people use a teary eyed smiley to express something funny, insert two bumping beer mugs to a birthday greeting or add a flamenco dancer to caption a photo of a girls' night out, it seems like a post or a message just could not be complete without a corresponding emoji.

CNN reported that a study published in the journal Trends on Cognitive Sciences tackled how emojis have become a form of non-verbal communication (in a digital sense, of course). Just like how people understand what a person is saying by looking at their gestures and facial expressions as well as hearing their tone, social media and online messenger users have started relying on these graphical characters to get a clear message across.

In fact, senior lecturer in psychology Linda Kaye, who led the study, said emojis activate some regions of the brain that words alone could not.

"Different regions of the brain light up when you're looking at emojis compared to not looking at emojis," Kaye told CNN. "We see something neurologically different, implying they function as non-verbal."

Linda Kaye added that those who use emojis are more likely to be approachable, empathetic and agreeable like people who have different facial expressions and intonations during a conversation.

"It's how you emotionally express," she said. "It makes sense as these are probably people in the real world who are more smiley to people."

The website FiveThirtyEight ranked the most used emojis on Twitter with the hearts card emoji on the number one spot. The joy (teary eyed smiley) ranks second followed by the unamused face, heart eyes, relaxed, OK hand, heart, kissing heart, blush, pensive, weary, sob, smirk, grin, two hearts, flushed, thumbs up, raised hands, wink, information desk person, relieved, see no evil, sunglasses, peace sign, praying hands, expressionless face, yum, stuck-out tongue/winking eye, notes and disappointed face, respectively.

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