Vinay Menon: Want to have more sex? Use more emojis. LOL
|Toronto Star 25 Aug 2019 at 09:56|
If you are someone who uses emojis in personal communication, you’re probably not reading this because you’re too busy having sex.
Happy face? Thumbs up? Light bulb? Thinking face? I don’t know, this is me shrugging. One of the more curious forays into academic research has always involved correlating x with y, in which “x” is a seemingly random action and “y” equals “having more sex.”
I recall once chatting with a professor of mine who said people who truly get Aristotle have better relationships. Huh? It seemed vaguely intriguing, but also bonkers. What, if my girlfriend and I master Nicomachean Ethics, we can have fabulous sex? If we light scented candles and co-read Politics, Poetics, Metaphysics or Rhetoric, we’ll be soul mates forever?
Three years ago, a University of Guelph study found “selfless” people have more sex. We’ve been told bullies have more sex. Marijuana users have more sex. Seafood eaters have more sex. Redheads have more sex. Early birds have more sex. Those with tattoos have more sex. Users of iPhones have more sex. Religious people have more sex. People who listen to music out loud have more sex. Grilled cheese aficionados have more sex. Women with lots of male friends have more sex, which is maybe self-explanatory. Guys with “dad bods” have more sex. Guys who scrub the dishes have more sex. Guys who listen have more sex.
While I have strong reason to believe those last three amount to fake news — I keep trying and failing to add five-packs to my one-pack stomach, my fingertips now reek of Palmolive and I’m all ears — what’s interesting is how any dubious correlation can now get linked to “having more sex.”
Do you change the oil and filter in your car just before a full moon? It’s possible you’re having more sex. Do you fly drones and read the back of cereal boxes and can’t understand why NASA named a new Martian rock after the Rolling Stones? More sex! It’s almost as if researchers — who are not exactly studs and hotties — are so desperate to redefine love they’re now making stuff up.
And now it’s emojis.
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In the journal PLOS One, a new study this month — “Worth a thousand interpersonal words: Emoji as affective signals for relationship-oriented digital communication” — found that “emoji use with potential partners is associated with maintaining connection beyond the first date, and more romantic and sexual interactions over the previous year.”
In other words, “our research suggests that emoji use may provide a reasonable proxy for expressing affect and may provide a useful aid in self-disclosure and building intimacy.”