Gentlemen, the scientific brain trust known as Zoosk — an online dating site — has some statistical data that will turn your text message emoticon’s smile into a frown. Maybe even a frown with a tearful asterisk, depending on the level of your emoji attachment.
It turns out that men who insert this little guy “:)” in their dating profiles or messages don’t get a good response from the ladies (on a personal note, I’ve heard some women say that the only thing they look forward to less than a smiley or, God forbid, winky face is an unsolicited picture of a dude’s junk… but that’s another story).
After studying a sample of 4,000 members, Zoosk found that men with a “:)” in their profile get 6% less incoming messages and 12% fewer responses to outgoing messages. Using a “:)” in an actual message decreased response rates by a whopping 66%.
Men, on the other hand, love a good emoticon. So much so that women with a “:)” in their profile get 60% more messages. So for guys looking for some kind of way, any way, that still allows them to express their emotions through a collage of punctuation, you’re in luck. Zoosk found that using the slightly longer “:-)” emoticon in a message actually increases responses by 13%. Because, ya know, taking the time to find that extra dash really shows he cares.