The emoji. Some people love them, some hate them, and even the seemingly inoffensive ones are causing problems between generations.
A story last week in the Daily Mail talked to young workers about using emojis in correspondence. Specifically, how different generations view particular emojis. The most hated one by the youngest working generation is the thumbs-up.
Whether the chat is informal, between friends or at work the icon appears to have a very different, ‘rude’ meaning for the younger generation. Sending a thumbs-up can be seen as passive aggressive and even confrontational, according to Gen Z who claim they feel attacked whenever it is used.Daily Mail Online
Attacked? That’s probably not the reaction the sender is going for. Others say thumbs-up is downright hostile. We need to teach Gen Z about their incoming filter that taints their perception! If you think everyone around you is being mean to you, the issue is YOU.
To me, thumbs-up seems like a dismissal. “I don’t know what to say so I’ll end this conversation here.” I sometimes hit it by accident on Facebook Messenger. I wonder whether others do too.
The most-hated emoji is my personal favourite. The grimace. Only, according to Cosmopolitan, it’s not a grimace at all, but a full-mouth smile. That would explain some of the misunderstandings that have taken place when someone thinks they’re sending a big grin and the recipient sees a grimace. I use this one when I’m embarrassed or admitting to doing something silly. In other words, I use it often.
And who doesn’t enjoy a good poop? The only time the poop emoji is inappropriate is when it’s used literally.
But as a commentary on an event or a situation? Poop says it all. For example, a recent restaurant dinner. The vegetables consisted of 1.5 cups of sliced onions and 5 bitter stalks of broccolini. Definitely poop-worthy.
Another one of the emojis that Gen Z says is inappropriate and makes colleagues seem old, is full-on laughter.
So, what’s better, kids? LOL?! Some people still think LOL means Lots of Love, which makes sharing bad news via email a surreal experience. “Sorry to let you know that your Great Uncle passed away. LOL Mom.”
One of my sweetest friends uses a string of emojis to end a text. I enjoy following along to make sure I get all the messages. The heart is overused, but nothing conveys love quite like it. Used properly, emojis can tell a whole story.
The conclusion, as I see it, is emojis are fun but they’re not clear enough for workplace correspondence. Use words. Specific words. Like, great idea. Or good job. Or, onions and bitter broccolini do not count as a side of veggies.