A shocking news story, ripped from today’s headlines! 
Women are twice as likely as men to use emoticons  in text messages , according to a new study from Rice University.
The study, “A Longitudinal Study of Emoticon Use in Text Messaging from Smartphones,” used smartphone data from men and women over six months and aggregated 124,000 text messages. The participants were given free iPhones to use for the test period but didn’t know what researchers were investigating.
“We believe that our study represents the first naturalistic and longitudinal study that collects real emoticon use from text messages ‘in the wild,’” said Philip Kortum, assistant professor of psychology at Rice and one of the study’s authors.
The study also confirms previous research that women are more emotionally expressive in nonverbal communication,
Interestingly enough, however, the authors of this research found that while women may use emoticons more often than men, the men used a larger variety of emoticons to express themselves.
In other words, while female texters are ‘quantity emoticon users’, men are ‘quality emoticon users.’
Kortum and his co-authors  pointed out that their study is a glimpse into the complex nature of real mediated communications. They said that additional inquiry in real-world settings are needed to understand the complexities of human communications through technology.
 Actually, October 10, 2012… but you get the idea. 😉
 Emoticons are graphic symbols that use punctuation marks and letters to represent facial expressions to convey a person’s mood, help provide context to a person’s textual communication and clarify a message that could otherwise possibly be misconstrued. 🙂
 Texting has become one of the most popular forms of communication in society worldwide. This year alone, it is estimated that 8 trillion text messages will be tapped out. 😮
 The study’s co-authors were Chad Tossell, Clayton Shepard, Ahmad Rahmati and Lin Zhong, all of Rice University, and Laura Barg-Walkow at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The study was funded in part by the National Science Foundation and appeared in the journal Computers in Human Behavior. 😐