convey more meaning with emojis and GIFs

Neon sign with emojis & "A picture is worth a thousand words."

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A picture 🖼️ is worth a thousand words.

This is not a new saying (in fact, it dates back to at least 1911), and we all know how true it is. Sometimes, an image like an emoji or GIF says what words cannot. This is true even in our present-day communications. We text 📱, email,📧 and chat 💬 our way through the modern world. But how many times have you had someone misunderstand your intent over text, email, chat, etc.? Fortunately, emojis and GIFs are here to help ensure that your communications are understood with tone and nuance—and are even fun! 🥳

pepper your messages with emojis

Emojis have become almost indispensable these days, because it’s easier to convey things using a picture. Want to laugh? Or flirt? Or cry? Using 😂 or 😏 or 😭 is a lot faster and often more relatable than typing a long, awkward message.

But why is this so effective?

One theory relates to how we process nonverbal cues in conversation. reveals that 70% of communication comes from nonverbal cues—cues that disappear in text-only communication. But emojis and GIFs infuse your conversations with depth and underscore your meaning. They provide relatable faces (😄😩😬😮🤩) and symbols (💯⚠️ ➰🚫) to express feeling, convey tone, and even lighten the mood. They do some heavy lifting where the alphabet 🔤 comes up short. In fact, Linguistics Expert and Professor Vyv Evans has declared “Emoji” the fastest-growing language in the UK. That makes sense: Wired magazine found that 92% of people use emojis in their communications.

BONUS: illumy makes it super easy to add emoji (and thus, emotion) to your convos. There’s a built-in emoji selector, as well as convenient shortcuts to infuse your writing with expressive visuals. Not only can you use emojis generously in your emails, texts, and chats, illumy lets you react to messages emojis. Instead of just liking a message (you can do that, too), now you can use any of the emojis to express how you feel. 😎🚀👏👀

try animated GIFs for even more effect

For an extra layer of context and meaning, animated GIFs are the go-to. GIFs (no matter how you pronounce them😆) add pizzazz to your conversations. You can convey an emphatic, dramatic, or hilarious sentiments using the pop culture-infused animations.

"That joke was surprisingly sharp."

Click the GIF icon in the Message field to search for the perfect clip that says just what you mean. (Note: This feature isn’t yet available on the mobile apps, but you can still upload any GIF from your phone using the plus sign in the Message field.)

illumy also supports Stickers, which are lightly animated icons made from illustrations, GIFs, or photos. To use Stickers, click on the GIF icon, then click the Sticker icon at the top of the pop-up menu (it’s a purple circle with part of it folded down).

Clearly, emojis, GIFs, and stickers aren’t whimsical afterthoughts. They can underscore a point and convey nonverbal meaning. The ancient Egyptians used to write entirely in pictures. Perhaps we’re coming full circle in the evolution of human communication. If you aren’t already, sprinkle an emoji, sticker, or GIF into your next illumy conversation.


Photo by Yasmin Dangor on Unsplash

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