The hidden logic of emojis

By Erin Davis

I love this. Mostly because a lot of my own intellectual interest is around such patterns of meaning: what falls into a category versus another and how amorphous those boundaries can be.

There’s a lot I enjoyed about this little post – the little clusters of emojis that come together e.g. drinks at the bottom, maybe strangely (or not?) next to the cluster with Canada, the UK, Israel, and the eagle, but also next to what clearly denotes celebration – cake and balloon and party hat. The love islands on the right and whether you should be swiping left or right. Plants and flowers and bees go with unicorns and aliens and rainbows. But the goat (G.O.A.T.) goes with gorilla and strength, but surprisingly removed from the other sports emojis (balls, medals) at the bottom left?

I appreciated the tutorial that went with the post. I like that it’s all done in R (*heart emoji*) – encouraging for a R noob such as myself who wants to do little visualizations like that. It’s a million tweets through the pipeline – nothing academic about geographic differences, cultural nuances, weighing, etc. No, a million tweets: which emoji appears most commonly with which other emojis.