Emotion in Informal Text Communication

Saturday, 14 February 2015: 1:30 PM-4:30 PM
Room LL21B (San Jose Convention Center)
Cecilia Aragon, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
The use of informal text communication (e.g. chat, texting, microblogs) is on the rise worldwide, including in collaborative work settings that span cultural boundaries. However, most of the recent research on online text communication has been conducted in social contexts. Socio-emotional communication is a critical determining factor in the cohesiveness of international work teams, while text communication of any kind has often been viewed as impoverished and lacking in socio-emotional cues. We studied emoticon use in a chat log dataset from bilingual scientists engaged in an international collaboration that spans several years and contains nearly half a million messages. Our findings showed that users repurpose the technology and use emoticons according to social dynamics previously associated only with face-to-face communication.