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Flirty Or Friendly: What Does Signing Off Text Messages With An 'X' Really Mean?

Innocent affection, lusty desire or just a handy way to conclude a convo -- a digital kiss can say (or not say) so much.

Dr Belinda Barnet, social media major director at Swinburne University told 10 daily that the meaning of symbols used in digital communication changes over time.

"In Australia, the 'x' is more a sign of friendliness or closeness, and sometimes takes the place of 'cheers' or 'bye'," she explained.

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We asked members of team 10 daily to kiss and tell on their 'X' habits. But first -- who are the lucky recipients of their digital smooches?

For most, it was their significant others -- mums, wives, BFFs -- for others, it was literally everyone ...

For Studio 10 host Joe Hildebrand an 'X' is non-negotiable -- "I send 'X's to everyone."

Because basically if you don't send an 'X' to these days it means you hate the person.

In most cases, it sounds like we shouldn't be reading too much into how people are signing off their messages -- the content and context of the message are what matters most.

"Using an 'X' is just a way of ending a conversation," said Jasmine Motti, 10 daily video producer.

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Having said that, there are cases when an 'X' can be used as a barometer of flirtation. The general consensus is that one 'X' is friendly, full stop. Two 'X's is getting a bit cheeky, while three or more is a surefire sign that some flirty business is going down.

"I'd say when it crosses the line from friendship to flirting that would be triple 'X' of course," said Simone Jordan, 10 daily senior journalist.

A word of caution -- use hugs or 'O's wisely.

"XO XO XO would be insane flirting," cautioned Eoin Blackwell, 10 daily news editor.

That all changes when it comes to corporate communications. Popping an 'X' or two into a work email was a big no-no all 'round -- even if it's second nature.

"Sometimes when I'm writing a work email I have to delete the 'X,'" admitted Jessica Dunne, 10 daily news reporter.

There you have it -- go forth and 'X' but remember to be safe!

Feature image: Getty.