• Jonathan Shiek

“Dear Millennials, Stop Using 😂” With Love, Gen Z-ers.

Comments on TikTok have sparked a war between two internet-savvy generations. The millennials and the Gen Z-ers are at it for what’s cool and according to the younger generation, millennials do not make the cut. 

Their advice? Burn your skinny jeans, never comb your hair into side parts, and that laughing crying emoji that millennials so often text to one another because a certain something or someone made them laugh? Lame. 

One teen weighed in on a comment, “As a 15 year old I say you should use that emoji bc (because) we sure aren’t going to.”

Another told CNN business, “I stopped using it a while back because I saw older people using it, like my mom, my older siblings, and just older people in general.”

So, what exactly then does Gen Z-ers use to convey laughter? 

You might or might not have guessed it. The emoji “☠️” has spread among the young hip to visually reference laughter. Just like how you would tell a friend after laughing too much, “I’m dying,” to Gen Z-ers “☠️” is the visual representation of the slang phrase “I’m dead,” used to signify that something is extremely funny. 

Another alternative they use is the crying emoji, “😭”. Officially called the “Loudly Crying Face”, Stacy Thiru, aged 21, has said that she prefers it because the emoji shows more extreme emotion and feels more dramatic. 

But what if you aren’t an emoji expressing person? “Lol” (laughing out loud) or “lmao” (laughing my ass off) is widely accepted as well. 

Speaking of the banished “😂” emoji, which is still the most used emoji on Emojitracker, “Tears of Joy (😂)”, according to Gretchen McCulloch, an internet linguist, “was a victim of its own success”.

“If you indicate digital laughter for years and years in the same way, it starts to feel insincere,” She said. “The hyperbole gets worn out through continued use.” 

Always on the lookout for hip and trendy ways to express themselves, it comes then as no surprise that Gen Z-ers, born after 1996 have been finding new ways to convey laughter on the internet with which they grew up in.

While the older generation tends to stick with the same usage of emojis, younger people are more likely to get creative. As a result, emojis have various meanings for them.

Take for example the emoji with a cowboy hat (🤠) and the one of a person simply standing. These two have both come to signify awkwardness. 

So the next time you use “😂”, think again. 


#emoji #genz #millennials

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