When on social media, I instinctively reach for emojis to ‘explain’ my tone of voice, and it’s a technique which is both accepted and effective. Recently however, I’ve found myself about to use them in emails, and I don’t think that’s a good idea. Looking through my inbox, a few people have used them in emails to me, and it’s… well, a bit unprofessional.
I think the reason is that in social media, they’re a good way of getting over some subtext without writing it out in full. In emails, they just look like we can’t be bothered to explain ourselves properly. I’m not suggesting that there’s never a place for humour, sarcasm and the like in emails …it’s just that it we should make the effort to make it obvious with our words, rather than by sticking a big pointer next to it.