Do you ever get a text from your kid with emojis in it and think you know what they mean, only to find out you’re wrong? Say they send a skull 💀 followed by the crying emoji 😭and you think something terrible has happened, until they explain that it’s emoji slang for “I’m dead,” which also means funny. If you’re over the age of 35, there’s a good chance you didn’t know that and you’re not alone.
The thing is, emojis are pretty much everywhere these days. Research shows that 92% of people use emojis in digital communication including texts, social media and yes, even work emails. New ones are being added regularly, Apple just added 31 new emojis to iOS 16.4 coming out this spring, which brings the total number of them available to 3,664. That’s a lot of little pictures to potentially misunderstand.
Adobe’s U.S. Emoji Trend Report, which came out late last year, points out that emojis “don’t always mean what you think they do and are always changing.” Nearly half of those surveyed (47%) say they sent an emoji “that was misinterpreted or taken out of context.” To help us stay on top of these ever-changing emoji meanings, TikTok comedian Ethan Blanko, known for his videos explaining what certain emojis mean to “parents and people over the age of 35,” explains the top 10 most-misused emojis.
- 😭 Loudly Crying Face - This is guilty pleasure laughter or laughing at something you shouldn’t be laughing at.
- 🤣 Rolling on the Floor Laughing - “This does mean laughter but should only be used when trying to make someone mad, specifically when you are roasting someone,” Blanko explains.
- 🥵 Hot Face -This one means you’re physically attracted to someone.
- 😹 Cat With Tears of Joy - It’s ironic, sarcastic and “basically used to mock someone.”
- 🙂 Slightly Smiling Face - Seems innocent enough, but not according to Blanko, who says, “This is a death threat. If you get this, run.” But Emojipedia lists it as both positive, and patronizing, so it’s easily confused.
- 🙃 Upside Down Face - Apparently it’s the same as the Slightly Smiling Face, but even more passive-aggressive.
- 👍 Thumbs Up - Not a vote of approval, but a “rude, hostile or passive aggressive dismissal intended to permanently end the conversation.”
- 🚶Person Walking - “Use these for awkward situations,” Blanko says. “It's meant to signify leaving the room when situations get intensely uncomfortable.”
- 🎣 Fishing Pole - This one means fishing for compliments or validation.
- 🙏 Prayer Emoji - As its official name explains, these are praying hands, not a “high five.”
Source: USA Today