Gen Z Thinks This Popular Emoji Is Rude, and They Want It Canceled

On Reddit, younger people claim that the thumb-up emoji is rude and want it canceled. But older people have a different opinion.

Kelly Corbett - Author

Oct. 14 2022, Published 12:36 p.m. ET

woman texting
Source: Getty Images

One popular emoji is currently causing outrage among some users: the thumbs-up emoji.

While that type of gesture is hardly ever used in real life, it has become a commonly used reaction on the internet — especially in work settings.

Article continues below advertisement

In the r/adulting community on Reddit, one user posed an interesting question in a now-deleted post, “Am I not adult enough to be comfortable with the 'thumbs-up' emoji reaction?" they wrote.

What resulted was a conversation discussing the emoji's true meaning and how one's age may alter their viewpoint. So, what's the verdict? Is the thumbs-emoji rude? Honestly, it depends.

woman with thumbs up
Source: Getty Images
Article continues below advertisement

Is the thumbs-up emoji rude?

The user's question yielded mixed responses. It seemed that the younger the user, the more bothered they were with the emoji. But older users seemed to have no problem with it.

"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," wrote one user, adding: "I’d feel more unsettled with the heart reaction."

Source: Reddit
Article continues below advertisement

Meanwhile, another user who notes that they're 24 years old disagreed: "For younger people, the thumbs-up emoji is used to be really passive-aggressive. It’s super rude if someone just sends you a thumbs-up."

The user goes on to say that people around their age don't use the emoji, but older folks at their workplace do, as they hold a different meaning of the emoji.

Source: Reddit
Article continues below advertisement

Another user argued that for them, the thumbs-up emoji simply meant 'I agree" or "OK."

But one user shared that in a work chat, their co-workers would constantly reply with the thumbs-up emoji: "I don't know why but it seemed a little bit hostile to me, like an acknowledgment but kind of saying 'I don't really care/am not interested'?"

Gen Z also wants these emoji canceled!

The thumbs-up emoji isn't the only emoji that Gen Z is trying to cancel.

Insights agency Perspectus Global conducted a survey of 2,000 people and learned that people between the ages of 16 and 29 were also not keen on a number of other emojis.

Here are the top 10 emojis that they want to be retired as they are overused and have not aged well (the thumbs-up emoji, of course, sits in first place)...

  1. Thumbs-up
  2. Red heart
  3. OK hand
  4. Checkmark or Tick
  5. Poo
  6. Loud Crying Face
  7. Monkey covering eyes
  8. Clapping Hands
  9. Lipstick kiss mark
  10. Grimacing Face

So, has Gen Z gone too far? Or have they made some good points about these emojis?

More from Distractify

Latest FYI News and Updates

    Opt-out of personalized ads

    © Copyright 2023 Distractify. Distractify is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.