A-HED Sending Smiley Emojis? They Now Mean Different Things to Different People

A smiley face isn’t always just a smiley face. Behind the yellow, wide-eyed emoji’s grin lurks an intergenerational minefield. The ubiquitous emoji means happy, good job, or any number of other positive sentiments to most people over age 30.

But for many teens and 20-somethings, a smiley face popping up in a text or email is seen as patronizing or passive-aggressive. Hafeez Bishi, 21, started an internship at a Brooklyn digital media firm and was taken aback when co-workers greeted her with a bright smiley face.

For Ms. Bishi, the welcome didn’t seem warm but dismissive. She sees the image as conveying a kind of side-eye smile, not a genuine one.
“I had to remember they are older because I use it sarcastically,”

Hafeez Bishi, 21, began an internship at a Brooklyn digital media agency and was stunned when co-workers greeted her with a vibrant smiley face. For Ms. Bishi, the welcome didn’t appear heat however dismissive. She sees the picture as conveying a form of a side-eye smile, not a real one.

“I needed to keep in mind they’re older, as a result of I exploit it sarcastically,” Ms. Bishi mentioned of her new co-workers. “There is such a lot of emojis, and Gen Z can by no means take issues in an easy method.”

The communication confusion doesn’t finish with the smiley face: Folks of various ages take totally different meanings from numerous little drawings that substitute for phrases in so many texts and emails.

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