Emojis: How Many, Is Too Much?

We all love them, they’re cute and playful… ah heck, there is even a blockbuster movie coming our way to remind us that they rock. Yet, the question has presented itself as to whether it is possible to ever have too many, or too much of those little good things in modern communication. Why? You may ask, well buckle up and let’s go through this digital conundrum together.

So, we all have that one friend- that friend who loves to keep on going both in person and over the phone, but can’t read between the lines- or take a hint to cut the conversation short. These said friends also carry this particular trait into their online presence and messaging platforms. The overkill comes in the form of what we call ‘HYPER-EMOJING‘.  @CetteCulture would define HyperEmojing as:

“A situation in which a message- whether via text, direct message (DM) or email- is over populated with more than 5 emoji icons in one reading.”

You may occasionally receive Hyper-Emoji’ messages from some friends from time to time, but it’s the instances when the same culprits keep on striking (and Mr and Miss Itchy fingers regularly sends us that chapter long text to read to begin with- followed by a herd of emoji’s that can sometimes leave us lost in translation). A message with so many images, it would leave the ancient Egyptians confused.


Socially Awkward

Emoji Image arcticle 3- faces

Now some people might be saying “Yeah, so! What’s the problem?”- our response to that part of the world population is: nobody wants to watch a short cartoon after reading your long text, DM or email. Seriously! As the long-suffering recipients of the aesthetically emoji-fied goods we have come to agree with the immortal words of Queen Vic after reading a message from you: “We are not amused”. But because we’ve known you for years pre-Facebook, follow each other on Instagram, probably have to interact with you in person within the week in some social setting, and call you friend(s) we haven’t got the heart to tell you to STOP! Or tell you that that many emotions should only come out in group therapy sessions. So we’re stumped as to how we can tell our friend about their condition without getting the angry or crying emojis in their next message.


Digital etiquette

So the question still remains with the pictograms: how many is too much? But we believe that there is an even more fundamental and controversial question to consider over all: Can your message go without it? Has the sender considered the recipients time, vision and data limit- because if the tables were turned would they want to read hieroglyphs from their BFF’s all the time? A little consideration speaks volumes (because you shouldn’t have to mute a friends WhatsApp convo for the sake of your sanity).

We are not a think-tank with special scholastic insight, neither are any of the following the law in any corner of Google’s earth- but we do feel we have some suggestions to make things that little bit easier for all of us. Here are some ground rules the editors from @CetteCulture think can help:

The Emoji-Code

  • Is the emoji necessary?
  • Does the emoji fit the context and intent of the communication?
  • Three emojis is the maximum for any occasion
  • Five emojis or more is pushing the envelope


Emoji Image arcticle 5- pillow faces


“Emoji-nal” Intelligence

It’s really good and fun to be playful with communication but please be tactful and consider the reader of the message at the same time. Emojis are there to add effect to the message and not decoration, so don’t force the reader to have a visual overdose. Remember to think like a Native American when it comes to applying emojis to your screen-based smoke signals: keep it short and relevant. Don’t allow your emoji usage to be likened to that of a forest fire by destroying communication and text space in the process.


A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words (… on these occasions)

Again it’s not all doom and gloom on this side, as the following are examples of some exceptional cases for putting [all] the writing on the wall:

  • You’ve just won the lottery
  • Someone has finally ‘put a ring on it’
  • The baby has arrived
  • You’ve found the cure to a major illness
  • Your computer just crashed and you didn’t hit ‘Save’ a few paragraphs before
  • You’ve just walked into Narnia



If a particular friend, colleague or relative popped into your head while you were having a read, pass on this message from @CetteCulture and ask them if they agree- because you can indirectly paint the perfect picture and cause them to stop and think about their intended recipients, the next time before they hit the send button.



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