Why There’s a Sassy Wombat on Your Phone

The Wall Street Journal:

Text messages just don’t convey thoughts and emotions well enough for 2013.

When Tanya Sichynsky wants to tell friends she’s tired, the 19-year-old University of Georgia student doesn’t text anymore. She sends an image from her smartphone of a sleepy cartoon bunny holding a coffee mug with a smiley face.

When Kylin Brown messes up dinner, the 23-year-old Indianapolis work-at-home mother uses her smartphone to send her mother a fingernail-size cartoon of a girl running away from an oven in flames. “We barely use words anymore, except when we talk on the phone,” says Ms. Brown.

Stickers play into the human affinity for icons, says Dacher Keltner, a University of California, Berkeley, psychology professor who helped Facebook develop stickers. “We are a super iconic species,” he says. “Textual communication is serial but human communication is parallel.”

Read the whole story: The Wall Street Journal

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