Livin' on the MDedge

Selfie hate, emoji love, and sexy lichen


Stop the selfies

If you’re a selfie aficionado, this is crucial information. People hate your selfies, and people hate you.

Woman using a selfie stick

Okay, maybe that’s being a little aggressive, but a new study from Washington State University has shown that, if you’re a chronic selfie poster, people (aka your loyal Instagram audience) are more likely to view you as unlikable, unsuccessful, insecure, and closed off to new experiences.

The study was born from the idea that chronic selfie takers are more narcissistic than the rest of us. Chris Barry, PhD, the lead author of this study, conducted research into that hypothesis and found inconclusive results: Selfie prevalence just wasn’t indicative of personality. However, Dr. Barry realized there may be a stronger link between the amount of selfies posted and how people (whom the selfies are forced upon) perceive the selfie taker. [Editor’s note: I am more tired of reading the word “selfie” than of seeing them at this point.]

Study participants were asked to rate the Instagram profiles of 30 undergrad students on attributes such as low self-esteem, self-absorption, and success. The profiles with more posed photos were viewed as being more adventurous, more outgoing, and having high self-esteem, while the reverse was true for profiles with lots of selfies. And for the men trying online dating: Flexing-in-the-mirror selfies were viewed extra negatively.

So what have we learned from this all-important selfie study? If you want to step up your online profile, start by deleting a few of those selfies. Send them to Grandma instead, who will really appreciate your pretty face.

Emoji emotion

You’re setting up your online dating profile. You’ve removed all the selfies and have only the most flattering posed photos of yourself: with your dog, climbing a mountain, at the beach, all the greatest hits. You’ve been messaging the ladies nonstop, impressing them with your witty wordplay and impeccable spelling. But so far, not much is happening. What gives? According to a study from the Kinsey Institute, you’ve got to use more emojis.

Smiley-face emoji gives a thumbs up

Surveying more than 5,000 adults, researchers found that frequent emoji use predicted more first dates and more frequent sexual activity. The findings suggest that people who use emojis often might be better at forming connections with other people than those who eschew those ubiquitous smileys.

Is an emoji worth a thousand words? For some, apparently. The authors noted that emojis can be used in addition to words to strategically infuse digital communication with expression and emotion that typed words often lack. For many, a smiley emoji carries more emotional weight than writing that you’re happy. If you’re looking to spice up your love life, say it with emojis instead. And if you’re not well-versed in emoji speak, make sure to look up the meaning of the eggplant emoji before you use it.

The nomination would have been enough, really

We here at LOTME love a good survey ... Okay, most of us here at LOTME love a good survey ... All right, it looks like three out of four LOTME staffers surveyed are quite fond of a good survey.

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