We’re all cool. We use emojis. They can express emotion or liven up online conversations. They make us smile. Inserting an emoji is so much better than responding, “yeah,” “OK,” “sure.” It is also an effective way to end an extended email or text “conversation.” Totally agree with your latest comment!…thumbs up emoji. Love you!…red heart emoji.
Fun fact: emojis originated from Japan in the late 90s and early 2000s. The word “emoji” is a combination of the Japanese words for “picture” (e) and “character” (moji). Quiz the grandkids. You’ll look so with it.
They are much more effective than emoticons—a combination of punctuation marks, letters, and numbers. Remember the smiley face :-)?? They were a bit challenging because the design was sideways.
But, yikes, here we are in another “Okay Boomer” moment! We’re being told by younger generations that, if we use certain emojis, we are officially old! Those emojis include the beloved thumbs up, the red heart, the clapping hands, and the check mark. Thumbs up is now old-fashioned and cringe worthy?? The check mark is uncool? Without it, how do we complete a to-do list? Give us a break!
We aren’t really interested in the 31 new emojis introduced this year. Like the dotted line face? It’s a muted neutral face that’s supposed to represent someone who is invisible or describe isolation or depression. Who cares? There’s already the neutral face, which “says” the same thing. And, we’re into the happy stuff anyway.
Okay, we might use the new “moose” emoji because it’s the nickname of a family member. And, maybe we’ll play with the “pink heart,” but we doubt we’ll often click on the “goose,” “blackbird,” or “jellyfish,” if ever.
If you really want to get the full display of emojis, which you probably don’t, you can check out the Emojipedia for more information. There are over 3,000 emojis listed. We use about 10.
In addition to telling us we are showing our age, Gen Z is also changing the meaning of some of our favorite emojis. Crap. The thumbs-up emoji no longer has a positive meaning? Now it’s passive-aggressive and confrontational. What? We ARE definitely old!
The ubiquitous happy face and red heart are no longer safe!! The happy face is now associated with indifference. And that heart could mean flirtatiousness.
We might insert the whew emoji—that’s the happy face with a drop of sweat—to indicate we’re relieved about something. Now it reportedly describes feeling stressed but dealing with it. Doing fine. Sounds like a mixed message to us. We’re confused.
We never used the googly eye emoji that we assumed meant “I am watching you.” It seemed creepy. Now it means “I’m listening?” Really? Why not just use one of the emojis for ears? Is that too obvious and direct for young people?
And that double cherry emoji? We totally see it as part of a casino’s slot machine’s array when we are not winning the big one. It used to have a lot of innocuous meanings. Oops. Now it means boobs! Luckily we have never used it. And, won’t be using it!
You might want to take the following trivia quiz to see how crazy the old and new meanings of emojis are now defined by the younger generation. Warning! Expect a disastrous score.
So, our Wrinkled Wisdom for today? Choose emojis in a well-lighted room. They are small. Don’t screw up. Get ready for Thanksgiving! There are emojis depicting a drooling face, folded hands for thanks, and turkeys. Don’t even try to figure out why the meanings of long-used emojis are changing. Yes, language evolves. And, as Bob Dylan said, “the times they are a changing.” But, emojis? We don’t fear change. Remember the manual typewriter and phone booths? However, we don’t buy change for change’s sake. Stick with the emojis you enjoy. Screw these new meanings. We all know what you are “saying” and love it!