Afrikaans students’ use of emojis
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Everyday five billion emojis are used on Facebook Messenger, one out of every five Twitter messages contains an emoji and half of all Instagram comments have an emoji (Emojipedia. org, 2022). The use of emojis in online text messages has become increasingly prevalent in not only informal online interactions between family and friends, but also in formal contexts such as WhatsApp messages used in online learning. Over the last decade the use of WhatsApp has evolved from being used for informal interactions to being used as a platform for online learning and teaching in schools and universities. As a learning platform it has proved effective for using text messages to exchange information and knowledge and discuss lesson content. In this article a group of undergraduate Afrikaans students’ use of emojis in three different contexts (interactions with friends and family, peers, and tutors; and lecturers) is examined to ascertain how the differentiation in context influences their use of emojis, how the use of emojis influences their online communication and how social presence in online learning is influenced using emojis.