We all know that emojis can have more than just one meaning, right? Like, if you come across someone using the peach emoji, they’re most likely not talking about literal peaches. And don’t even get us started on the eggplant emoji.
On TikTok, emojis can take on even more meanings, particularly when they’re used in the comment section of a video. Some people have taken to leaving comments that contain no text but instead only feature the snowflake emoji. What does that mean, exactly? Here’s what you need to know.
What does the snowflake emoji mean on TikTok?
So, chances are that you’ve come across people calling other people “snowflakes” before — it’s become an especially prevalent insult over the last few years. The snowflake insult is most often used by people with conservative political views to refer to people with liberal political views. Essentially, calling someone a snowflake is meant to imply that that person is too delicate to handle “valid” criticism and considers themselves to be special and unique — like a snowflake!
While conservatives have referred to liberals as “snowflakes” for years, TikTok users have found a way to use the insult without having to spend too much time typing on their phone keyboard: They just leave a snowflake emoji in the comment section. You’ll also come across snowflake emojis in Twitter threads and other online interactions.
People use the emoji as a way to shut down a discussion, essentially saying the equivalent of “you can’t handle criticism or my very smart brain, so I’m just going to call you a snowflake and then leave.” Obviously, it’s super effective and immediately hurts the feelings of whoever is being called a snowflake. Nah, just kidding. Most people agree that a snowflake emoji is a lame and pretty lazy way of pretending to engage in discourse.
At this point, after being called “snowflakes” for years, many liberal-leaning people have embraced the term. After all, there are certainly worse things than being branded as someone who *checks notes* cares about other people’s feelings? There are even people who use the snowflake emoji in their social media profiles as a way to proudly claim their snowflake-dom.
Snowflake emojis aren’t always used as an insult, though.
Obviously, a snowflake emoji is also just a picture of a snowflake, so don’t freak out if you happen to see the emoji used in “the wild.” Sometimes, people use snowflake emojis in their caption under pictures of — get this — snow!
Back in 2019, The London Times published a guide to the “secret” meanings of some emojis, claiming that the snowflake could also be used to represent cocaine (because of its street name, “snow”). Sure, maybe! But that same guide said people use the bathtub emoji to represent a coffin, so… maybe take that all with a grain of salt (which we guess could also be represented by the snowflake emoji).
Honestly, you could write books about the evolution (or devolution) of online discourse, especially when it comes to emojis. But many people don’t have time to read books — that’s why we use emojis, right? Anyway, hopefully you now understand why you might see snowflake emojis pop up on TikTok. Mystery solved!