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    I Asked Teenagers, 30-Somethings, And People In Their 50s What These Emojis Mean, And I Got Verrry Different Responses From Each Generation

    The versatility of "😩" is mind-blowing.

    Different generations have verrry different outlooks on life. We view work, the internet, technology, media, and fashion differently — hell, we can't even agree on a type of jean that's cool.

    Sooo, of course, when it comes to emoji use, it's safe to say Gen Z, millennials, Gen X, and boomers are kind of all over the place.

    A recent poll revealed certain emojis that Gen Z would NEVER use, but I wanted to know more about their emoji use in the first place, and how it compares to older generations'. So, I decided to ask three different generations how they use certain emojis.

    I talked to two members of Gen Z:

    Jo (they/them): a 14-year-old high school freshman

    Michael (he/him) : a 13-year-old 8th grader


    Two millennials:

    Emily (she/her): a 35-year-old writer and professor

    Sam (she/they): a 29-year-old writer and artist



    And two people in their 50s:

    Ant (he/him): a 57-year-old medical professional (Gen X'er)

    Mike (he/him): a late-50s medical professional (baby boomer)

    Before I asked about specific emojis, I asked for their thoughts on generational emoji use.

    Jo, a Gen Z'er, said that their generation doesn't use emojis "the way they’re supposed to be used," and instead, uses them "in an ironic way." They added, "We use emojis a lot as a joke or to imitate someone who would use them literally.”

    People on their phones

    “Gen Z evolves really fast. If something's funny one day, it’s not necessarily funny the next day, so you have to keep up."

    People having a picnic in a park

    Sam, a millennial, said she thinks younger generations "use emojis as punctuation or as a shorthand response." But "older generations and people not on the ‘net use them in a more serious way.”

    People walking on their phones

    Ant, a member of Gen X, said that he uses emojis more "in response to other people's texts." He added, "Younger generations use emojis more than we do. I'm more apt to just type something out."

    A man on his phone

    Next, I randomly picked some emojis and asked them what they mean to them or how they use it. Here's what they had to say:

    1. The "skull" emoji:

    skull emoji
    Gen Z
    Millennials
    Gen X/baby boomer

    2. The "loudly crying face" emoji:

    Cry-laughing emoji
    Gen Z
    Millennials
    Gen X/baby boomer

    3. The "weary face" emoji:

    weary face emoji
    Gen Z
    Millennials
    Gen X/baby boomer

    4. The "hot face" emoji:

    hot face emoji
    Gen Z
    Millennials
    Gen X/baby boomer

    5. The "smiling face with hearts" emoji:

    Smiling face with hearts emoji
    Gen Z
    Millennials
    Gen X/baby boomer

    6. The "folded hands" emoji:

    Prayer hands emoji
    Gen Z
    Millennials
    Gen X/baby boomer

    7. The "face with raised eyebrow" emoji:

    Raised eyebrow face emoji
    Gen Z
    Millennials
    Gen X/baby boomer

    8. The "exploding head" emoji:

    Exploding head emoji
    Gen Z
    Millennials
    Gen X/baby boomer

    9. The "nail polish" emoji:

    Nail polish emoji
    Gen Z
    Millennials
    Gen X/baby boomer

    10. The "smirking face" emoji:

    Smirking face emoji
    Gen Z
    Millennials
    Gen X/baby boomer

    11. The "face with rolling eyes" emoji:

    rolling eye face emoji
    Gen Z
    Millennials
    Gen X/baby boomer

    12. The "melting face" emoji:

    Melting face emoji
    Gen Z
    Millennials
    Gen X/baby boomer

    13. The "eyes" emoji:

    eyes emoji
    Gen Z
    Millennials
    Gen X/baby boomer

    14. And finally, the "rolling on the floor laughing" emoji:

    rolling on the floor laughing emoji
    Gen Z
    Millennials
    Gen X/baby boomer

    Hmm 🤨 very interesting. Well, no matter how someone uses emojis, I think Sam said it best: "They make communicating more fun."

    Do you notice that you use emojis differently than other generations? LMK in the comments!