The favorite emoji

THUMBS DOWN The favorite emoji that make you seem old are revealed – including a common one Gen Z says is offensive


BEWARE-specific emoji s are now telling your age, and gen z insists you not use them in work conversations.

According to your younger co-workers, symbols in the text seem “passive aggressive.”

A recent Reddit poster asked, “Am I not adult enough to be comfortable with the “thumbs up” emoji?” while gen Z agreed, Millenials disagreed.

The conversation quickly became a war of the generations.

“For younger people, the thumbs-up emoji is used to be really passive-aggressive,” a 24-year-old Redditor wrote. 

Battling his statement, millennials consider it a confirmation of a demand.

“Why do you feel like it’s unsettling? Honest question… bc that’s literally how I respond to 90% of messages… I’m almost 40 though, so I wonder if it’s a generational thing…” one user replied.

The issue is a communication barrier between the different “cultures” and generations.

“Everyone my age in the office doesn’t do it, but the gen X people always do it,” the 24-year-old added.

“Took me a bit to adjust and get out of my head that it means they’re mad at me.”

His peers agreed with his argument and believed it could be offensive.


“My last workplace had a WhatsApp chat for our team to send info to each other on and most of the people on there just replied with a thumbs up.” one woman commented.

She continued: “I don’t know why but it seemed a little bit hostile to me.”

To support their claim, business consultant Sue Ellson told the DailyMail that people in the workplace should consider listening to Gen Z.

She thinks words are always better than symbols.

“Predictive systems can type a word like Thanks in two clicks after a while,” she told FEMAIL.

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 “It feels like people are ‘too lazy’ to type a written response and it doesn’t provide clarity as to next steps,” she said.

“Do you mean yes I will do something, okay I agree or is it just confirmation that you received the message,” she added. 

In the Reddit post, most people weren’t worried about the “thumbs-up” emoji as much but believed the heart emoji was a bit inappropriate.

“To me the heart is reserved for friends and family, and has a more intimate meaning of love, while thumbs up is just simple agreeing. I’m 43.” one user commented.

“I actually find a heart emoji weird for work messages. I use heart emoji’s for things like when someone says “I got a new kitten,” or “Susie did a really great job.” If I agree with the idea of praising Susie and I really like Susie, I might put a heart.” another comment read.

Get ready because the heart emoji is about to be cancelled next.

Perspectus Global surveyed 2,000 people aged 16 to 29 who claim that the “thumbs up” and heart emoji are for old people.

Here are some emojis that consider you over the hill:

👍 Thumbs up

❤️ Red love heart

👌 OK hand

✅ Green tick

💩 Smiling poo

😭 Loud crying face

🙈 Monkey covering eyes

👏 Clapping hands

💋 Lipstick kiss mark

😬 Grimacing face

Although Gen Z advises older folks to avoid emojis while at work, millennials and Gen X believe it’s appropriate and can mean “many things.”

“I love it because it means many many things. It means ‘I approve’ or ‘I understood and will ‘obey’ or “‘I agree'”. one woman said.

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She continued: “If anything, my only objection would be that some days it might be hard to tell which one it means. But it is generally pretty clear,”

Understanding that it can be easily misunderstood, Ellson stands firm in her argument.

“It potentially has very different meanings depending on the cultural background of the recipient – approval, happiness, encouragement, number one or go to the surface when diving,” she said.

She believes the thumbs up should be “kept to social media or at most, texts.”

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