What Your Emojis Mean for Younger Generation21.09.2021
There are currently 3,633 “official” Emojis in use around the globe now. These tiny pictographs can communicate a lot of emotions and ideas. However, as with any form of symbolic communication, their meanings can change over time and between different groups of people, especially if one group includes millennials while the other is Gen Z.
Even something as simple as the “please” or “thank you” emojis can be used to mean “pray for my COVID,” “high-five,” “high-five,” and “thanks.” Depending on the context and who is sending it, even something as seemingly innocuous can mean lots of things.
The general rule is that while millennials have made texting popular, Gen Z was not born into it. Because they are fluent in the language, they can use it more subtly. Geriatric millennials, however, tend to use emojis literally to indicate the tone of a message. Gen Z is more likely to use them ironically or sarcastically.
A little bit of examples
For example, take the smiley face. This simple smiley face was created in 1960s and has been used across generations. A smiley is a friendly and casual message for us. But, for example, a college student, believes it’s the exact opposite. This is something you might send to someone who is late for a meeting. This could be something like, “I am tolerating your lateness, and pretending that I am happy,” or “I am not serious.”
Cowboy Hat Face could be used with the meaning of just a smile if you’re talking to younger generation, which means “may convey an exuberance, joy, confidence, adventure or other sentiments,” according emojipedia.com. Or you can try Smiling Face With Smiling Eyes for a more passive-aggressive tone. If you’re feeling wild, you could throw in with crazy face.
In the days before emojis, you could reply to jokes on the internet by using LOL (or LMFAO, if it was really hilarious) and call it day. Laughter online (the crying/laughing face) can be a way to separate the young from the old. CNN Business says that it’s no longer trendy, even though it’s the most popular emoji worldwide. (And if CNN Business can’t tell you what’s hot, who can?).
Walid Mohammed, 21, told CNN that he uses everything except the laughing emoji. “I stopped using the emoji a while ago because I saw older folks using it, such as my mom and my older siblings.”
So what is the new generation using to signify a funny-ass joke? You’re likely to be old if your first thought was that the skull clearly indicated death or cheap Halloween decorations. It can be translated to “I’m dying laughing” for children or “I’m dead.” (From laughing). You could also use, Loudly Crying Face. To me it looks like something you’d send to indicate “Everything I love was burned up in a fire,” but kids use it mean something like “LMFAO.”
The best move in the emoji-war is not to play. With a slate of new emojis on the way (including the most-anticipated, melting face, which either means “I just nailed the solo from Van Halen’s ‘Eruption’ or ‘It is Tuesday and Global Warming is real,’ depending on your age) the gap in generational-emoji-meaning is likely to widen further until millenial-to-Gen Z-communication is all but impossible.
It is best to not worry about it. It won’t work if you are older than 25 and trying to learn the same language as teens. No matter what you do, you will make it look stupid and cheesy. Take a stand, and send whatever you want. All messages should be ended with periods.
You can only send the bee emoticon and you won’t need to explain. Borrow slang from 1920s America and call your iPhone the “blower”. Let the interns who are texting you figure it out (and then send each other back). You drive a nicer car than them, so it doesn’t really matter how many pictures they send. Better yet, try to use as few emojis possible. It’s what everyone else is doing. Gen Z-er says that Mainstream emojis are so common that they have become cringey. “Some of my friends will get mad at me for sending them old-style emoji.” However, there is one icon that all generations agree on: eggplant means “I like vegetables.”