Sex & Relationships

This Emoji Makes You Look Incompetent to Your Colleagues

And you've probably done it more than you're willing to admit.

Signing off an email with a smiley face makes you look like an incompetent dick, apparently.

According to a new study by the Ben-Guriuon University of Negev in Israel, the seemingly harmless emoji can damage your career. This may all seem a little extreme for an emoji, but hear us out.

The university got 549 participants from 29 countries to judge emails from strangers. They were asked to assess the sender's warmth and professional competence–and some of the emails included the :) bomb.

Recipients said those smileys didn't actually convey any friendlessness, and perhaps most damningly they actually decreased perceptions of competence. You see, senders who didn't use a smiley face gave far more in-depth and detailed responses–far more convincing than :), which if you think about it is the email equivalent of the meme below.

The study also revealed it was presumed senders who used a smiley were thought to be women, even though they did not know the sex of the sender.


Oh, and don't go using any variations of the smiley either, especially this guy ;). That one will probably get you a meeting with HR.

This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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