Emojis have become an effective form of communication, and you even see them used routinely in the business world. While some of us try to reel in our emoji use throughout the day, well over 90 percent of the world’s population uses them on a daily basis.
Just because you use a particular emoji for your own personal meaning doesn’t mean that’s how others see it, though. Here are five emojis that you might want to think twice about using because they mean totally different things to different people.
For a lot of people, the thumbs up is the ultimate sign of approval. Instead of saying “got it” or “understood,” many will send the thumbs-up emoji as a sign that they understand what the person is saying and is on board. However, it turns out that this emoji is a harmless one for older generations while younger ones might see it as a backhanded way of communicating.
Apparently, members of Generation Z have deemed the thumbs-up emoji as one with passive-aggressive connotations. At least, that’s according to one major poll conducted by Emojipedia. Some members of Gen-Z also said that the emoji was seen as “low effort” while some even called it “hostile.” Older emoji users probably have no idea since the thumbs-up has always been a harmless gesture of support in their lives.
While the generation barrier for the thumbs-up emoji really only applies to the very young, it’s typically only the very elderly that aren’t quite sure about the second meaning of the eggplant emoji. When it was introduced in 2007, the eggplant emoji seemed rather harmless and was used very seldom. Maybe there were times when people talked about recipes, but there really weren’t many conversations where it was necessary.
Then, in the early 2010s, more people started to take notice of the emoji. Many felt that it had a much more ‘suggestive’ appearance and was introduced into more ‘adult’ conversations. Since then, the eggplant has been used almost exclusively in that capacity while some of the oldest emoji users innocently still use it to talk about food preparation.
The peace sign has changed meaning a lot in recent years to the point where it doesn’t even mean peace anymore. Sure, there was a time when those who wanted nothing but love and tranquility in the world could comfortably use the peace sign without any other connotations, at least in the United States. Outside of the country, this symbol could be perceived as obscene, with places like Australia and Ireland essentially using it as the middle finger.
These days, most people use it to sarcastically say goodbye, and it’s even transferred into real life. When you get into a confrontation and want to be snarky when leaving, you throw up “the deuces” and walk away. This has been seen repeatedly in sports, and even made its way into the Super Bowl when wide receiver Tyreek Hill (who had it as a signature celebration when scoring) had it used against him.
Speaking of sports, the goat emoji means something very different to them than it does to non-sports fans. To those who spend their weekends watching their favorite teams, the goat emoji is an acronym, G.O.A.T., or Greatest of All Time. This has been used for athletes such as Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, and Lionel Messi. It can also be used for other professions, though sports are where you see it the most.
Then, there are plenty of people who simply love goats as animals, and who wouldn’t? Sure, they might have a unique look that some consider strange, but they’re fun animals who love to jump around, and watching them for hours can be a great way to pass time. Those who never watch sports probably don’t know its acronym status.
Information Desk Person
The Information Desk Person emoji is one of the most bizarre ones out there because people aren’t really sure what it’s supposed to mean. The emoji shows a person with their left hand extended upward with their palm facing up as if they’re serving a dish that simply isn’t there. The emoji, apparently, is supposed to be a person working at a help desk and silently inquiring “How can I help you?”
That’s not how many people have seen it, however. Instead, it has been used as a way of saying “I have no idea” or in a sarcastic way when you’re tired of someone’s actions. Ask anyone in the world who has used this emoji if they’ve ever done so with its intended meaning, and they’re likely going to say no.