Not all emojis are equal, according to some people – or more specifically, Gen Z.
Discussions on Reddit have concluded that there are a few key emojis which signal to the younger generation that you might be “old” and “out of touch”.
According to one user, the thumbs up emoji was the worst one.
They claimed “Gen X people always” use it – which the user initially interpreted to mean someone was “mad at me”. This opinion seems to be widely shared on the platform, as the thumbs up is just too ambiguous.
Is it used ironically, or in an encouraging way? Does it mean “yes” or is it just a confirmation that the person had seen the message?
As if workplace communication wasn’t tough enough, one person claimed that the thumbs up emoji had penetrated that too.
“My last workplace had a WhatsApp chat for our team to send info to each other on and most of the people on there just replied with a thumbs up. I don’t know, but it seemed a little bit hostile to me,” they claimed.
A poll on the platform (from 2,000 people aged between 16 and 29) claimed the thumbs up emoji was the most difficult to interpret – but there were a few others which missed the mark too.
Here are the worst 10 emojis which give away your age, apparently, so use at your peril:
👍 Thumbs up
❤️ Red love heart
👌 OK hand
✅ Green tick
💩 Smiling poo
😭 Loud crying face
🙈 Monkey covering eyes
👏 Clapping hands
💋 Lipstick kiss mark
😬 Grimacing face
Business consultant Sue Ellson told Femail that it was time to discourage the use of emojis.
“It potentially has very different meanings depending on the cultural background of the recipient – approval, happiness, encouragement, number one or go to the surface when diving,” she said.
Ellson suggested keeping emojis to social media, or at least “checking in” with your team to make sure everyone understand the intent behind an emoji.