Gen Z Wants To Ban The ‘Hostile’ Thumbs-Up Emoji & 9 Others

Gen Z Wants To Ban The ‘Hostile’ Thumbs-Up Emoji & 9 Others

Gen Z has some very peculiar ideas about what’s cool and what’s not. Pretty much everything millennials enjoy is for losers, and don’t get them started on Gen X and Boomers. One of the things Gen Z is going to war on at the moment is emojis. Specifically, they’re calling for the banning of 10 of them, including the “hostile” thumbs up. Huh.

  1. The thumbs-up emoji is “rude” apparently. According to Gen Z, emojis mean serious business, and the thumbs up is too “rude” and offensive to be used regularly. In fact, they believe it’s “passive-aggressive” rather than a genuine way of expressing approval.
  2. The accusations were made on Reddit. There, a member of the younger generation questioned whether they were “adult enough” to “be comfortable” with the thumbs-up emoji. They stated that they work at an “adult” job where fellow employees all chat on Microsoft Teams. “Currently, there’s only a few emojis you can use to react to a message (unless of course, you respond, and can use any emoji). Most people at work use the ‘thumbs up’ reaction all the time,” they wrote. “I don’t use it much. I either ‘heart’ reactions or reply even if it’s a short ‘Great!’ or ‘Thanks!’ Anyway, I think it’s normal for people to ‘thumbs up’ messages, but I still feel like it’s such an unsettling response. Does anyone else feel this way?” Talk about overthinking!
  3. Looks like OP wasn’t alone. Plenty of fellow members of Gen Z came forward to say that not only do they agree about thumbs up but there are other emojis that need to go too. “Look I don’t make the rules but the thumbs-up emoji is passive-aggressive. Idk why, it’s bad vibes,” one person wrote when the conversation moved over to Twitter. Another person added: “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. So I also had a weird time adjusting because my workplace is the same.”
  4. What other emojis does Gen Z want banned? A survey of 2,000 people by Perspectus Global found that people between ages 16 and 29 would never use certain emojis because if you do, you’re “officially old” (via Unilad). That list includes the thumbs up, red heart, “OK” hand gesture, checkmark, poo, crying face, monkey covering eyes, clapping hands, lipstick kiss mark, and the grimacing face. I feel like I’m pretty happy to be a millennial.
Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more.