The Great Emoji Debate: Generational differences that divide us

Ten billion texts are sent every day, and a staggering 87% of us admit that when it comes to expressing our feelings, we’d rather use emojis than have an uncomfortable face-to-face conversation.

But Adobe’s research reveals you must be careful how you use emojis.

With over 3,600 emojis to express your every emotion and thought, everyone has a favorite, least favorite, and one they just do not understand. It turns out the emoji you use can mean different things to different generations.

For example, the thumbs up emoji. It appears that everything is OK for boomers and Gen X’ers. Gen Z however considers it to be rude, passive-aggressive, and even hostile.

If a young person sends you a baseball cap emoji, it means they think you are lying. However, if they type the word “no” before the cap emoji, it means they believe you.

Another emerging emoji is the cowboy. According to its creators, the intended meaning for the cowboy is exuberance. But Gen Z uses it to convey pretending to be happy when you are sad.

If you’re over 30, you may want to keep in mind the thumbs up, clapping hands, red heart, crying face and check mark. Using any of these is a tell-tale sign you’re older.

Seventy percent of Gen Z’s admit to using emojis that go against their intended meaning, as do 60% of Gen Y.