Gen Z Think That The Thumbs Up Emoji Is Rude And ‘Passive Aggressive’

Gen Z wants people to stop using the 'thumbs up' emoji as they think that it's 'super rude' and 'passive aggressive'.
Credit: Alamy

Gen Z wants people to stop using the ‘thumbs up’ emoji as they think that it’s ‘passive aggressive’.

This generation includes people born between the late 1990s and the early 2010s, who grew up with technology.

Many Gen Zs believe the ‘thumbs up’ emoji is rude and it makes the people who use it look old.

A young Reddit user recently took to the platform to find out if others were just as unnerved when they received the dreaded emoji in a message.

They wrote: “I started an ‘adult’ job where we use Microsoft Teams to connect with each other for work.

Find out the Top 10 emojis that will make you look old, according to Gen Z…

“Currently, there are 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.

“I don’t use it much. I either ‘heart’ reactions or reply even if it’s a short ‘Great!’ or ‘Thanks!’ (I also feel like I use too many exclamation marks, but that’s a different story).

“Anyway, I think it’s normal to ‘thumbs up’ messages, but I still feel like it’s such an unsettling response.

“Does anyone else feel this way?”

Reddit user asks whether 'thumbs up' emoji is rude.
Gen Z wants people to stop using the ‘thumbs up’ emoji as they think that it’s rude and ‘passive aggressive’. Credit: @u/Dry_Interaction6220/Reddit

Naturally, there was a raft of responses with people divided on what the emoji actually means and how it should be used.

One person commented: “For younger people (I’m 24 for reference) the thumbs up emoji is used to be really passive-aggressive.

Related Article: Pregnant Man Emoji Confirmed To Help ‘Combat Harmful Gender Stereotypes’

“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.

“So yeah, it’s a generational communication culture difference.

“Everyone my age in the office doesn’t do it, but the Gen X people always do it. Took me a bit to adjust and get out of my head that it means they’re mad at me.”

A second user agreed: “I understand what you mean, my last workplace had a WhatsApp chat for our team to send info to each other on and most of the people on there just replied with a [thumbs up emoji].

“I don’t know why but it seemed a little bit hostile to me, like an acknowledgement but kind of saying ‘I don’t really care/am not interested?”

A third wrote: “It’s not that odd to see it as passive-aggressive.

“Just imagine how would it feel to go into your boss’ room, say something, and then see him turn to you, look you in the eye, and [give you a thumbs up].”

Related Article: Gen Z Say You’re Old If You Wear Skinny Jeans And Have A Side Parting

However, many disagreed that the emoji was an act of aggression.

One user said: “Passive aggressive? Are you being serious or facetious? It’s a thumbs up.

“It means ‘I got it’ or ‘OK, message received’.

“What in the world can possibly be passive-aggressive in that? Newsflash, not everything is a micro-aggression.”

A 40-year-old, who said they use the ‘thumbs up’ emoji ’90 per cent of the time’, was confused by those who find it ‘unsettling’ and questioned whether it was simply a ‘generational thing’.

Another wrote: “Damn I’m embarrassed to be Gen Z. It’s just a thumbs-up. Don’t search so deep.”

Fox News host Emily Compagno said she doesn’t care what Gen Z think about her and the emojis she uses in a recent debate on the channel.

“We have to somehow change our behaviour and our silent communication because they’re a bunch of snowflakes? No, thanks,” she said.

Watch our Video of the Day below… 

Do you have a story for us? If so, email us at [email protected]. All contact will be treated in confidence.