Livin' on the MDedge

Is cancer testing going to the dogs? Nope, ants


Use your words to gain power

We live in the age of the emoji. The use of emojis in texts and emails is basically the new shorthand. It’s a fun and easy way to chat with people close to us, but a new study shows that it doesn’t help in a business setting. In fact, it may do a little damage.

Big thumbs up made from many small emojis Gordon Johnson/Pixabay

The use of images such as emojis in communication or logos can make a person seem less powerful than someone who opts for written words, according to Elinor Amit, PhD, of Tel Aviv University and associates.

Participants in their study were asked to imagine shopping with a person wearing a T-shirt. Half were then shown the logo of the Red Sox baseball team and half saw the words “Red Sox.” In another scenario, they were asked to imagine attending a retreat of a company called Lotus. Then half were shown an employee wearing a shirt with an image of lotus flower and half saw the verbal logo “Lotus.” In both scenarios, the individuals wearing shirts with images were seen as less powerful than the people who wore shirts with words on them.

Why is that? In a Eurekalert statement, Dr. Amit said that “visual messages are often interpreted as a signal for desire for social proximity.” In a world with COVID-19, that could give anyone pause.

That desire for more social proximity, in turn, equals a suggested loss of power because research shows that people who want to be around other people more are less powerful than people who don’t.

With the reduced social proximity we have these days, we may want to keep things cool and lighthearted, especially in work emails with people who we’ve never met. It may be, however, that using your words to say thank you in the multitude of emails you respond to on a regular basis is better than that thumbs-up emoji. Nobody will think less of you.

Should Daylight Savings Time still be a thing?

This past week, we just experienced the spring-forward portion of Daylight Savings Time, which took an hour of sleep away from us all. Some of us may still be struggling to find our footing with the time change, but at least it’s still sunny out at 7 pm. For those who don’t really see the point of changing the clocks twice a year, there are actually some good reasons to do so.

Illustration of changing the time on a clock mohamed hassan/PxHere

Sen. Marco Rubio, sponsor of a bill to make the time change permanent, put it simply: “If we can get this passed, we don’t have to do this stupidity anymore.” Message received, apparently, since the measure just passed unanimously in the Senate.

It’s not clear if President Biden will approve it, though, because there’s a lot that comes into play: economic needs, seasonal depression, and safety.

“I know this is not the most important issue confronting America, but it’s one of those issues where there’s a lot of agreement,” Sen. Rubio said.

Not total agreement, though. The National Association of Convenience Stores is opposed to the bill, and Reuters noted that one witness at a recent hearing said the time change “is like living in the wrong time zone for almost eight months out of the year.”

Many people, however, seem to be leaning toward the permanent spring-forward as it gives businesses a longer window to provide entertainment in the evenings and kids are able to play outside longer after school.

Honestly, we’re leaning toward whichever one can reduce seasonal depression.


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