Red Flags Are Trending Across Social Media as Users Share Dating Warning Signs

Across social media, including on TikTok, users are using rows of red flags to tell one another about their biggest dating warning signs.


Oct. 13 2021, Published 9:42 a.m. ET

Whether you spend most of your time on Facebook, Twitter, or TikTok, you may have noticed users making posts that feature a series of red flag emojis. Some have found themselves confused by the sudden appearance of the emoji, and what it means when users use it. As it turns out, the emojis mean the same thing regardless of what platform you've seen them on.

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What is the meaning of red flags on TikTok?

When users add a series of red flags to their post, they're typically describing something that they see as a big issue or problem with someone else. These issues, or red flags, are warning signs that tell you early on in a relationship whether you should be dating the other person. The red flags are used to indicate behaviors that the poster considers problematic.

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Traditionally, red flags are used to signal danger or issues that require a person's attention. The red flag emoji as it was originally designed was probably meant to describe the flags found in holes on a golf course. Now, social media users have rejiggered the emoji's meaning and transformed it into the kind of red flag that is associated with bad behavior.

Some users are not thrilled about the red flag trend.

Because the posts are so easy to do, they have been flooding social media feeds in recent days. As a result, some people are already ready to move on to whatever the next trend might be. "Not into this red flag meme," one person wrote, while another added "these red flag memes like a new pandemic."

"Ignoring the red flags on my timeline just like I do in real life," a third user joked.

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Although plenty of people seem to grasp the concept of the red flag meme, they are nonetheless ready for it to be done. As is the case with many of the biggest trends online, some users are posting their red flags sincerely, while others are raising red flags that may seem relatively insignificant, like whether or not a person has the same taste in music or TV as you do.

Source: TikTok
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It's unclear where the red flag meme originated.

It's hard to say exactly how the red flag meme began, but unlike some of the challenges that have taken over TikTok and other social media platforms, the red flag meme is fairly easy to take part in. All you have to do is come up with some of your own personal red flags and post them online along with a string of red flags.

Given that the meme doesn't require you to film anything, it's not particularly well suited to TikTok as a platform. Even so, many users have begun posting their own red flags to the platform as a warning about the kind of people they have no interest in seeing romantically. The red flag meme may not be around long, but for the users who have participated, it's clearly a fairly lighthearted way to spend a few minutes.

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