Gen Z Says This Extremely Popular Emoji Is 'Passive-Aggressive' And 'Hurtful'

According to Gen Z, one of the most commonly used emojis on the iPhone is "passive-aggressive" and "hurtful." No, it's not the middle finger emoji, but instead the thumbs-up emoji.

Gen Z, the generation of people born between the mid-to-late 1990s and the early 2010s, apparently find the thumbs-up emoji triggering. According to a recently Daily Mail poll of 2,000 respondents between the ages of 16-29 also said the thumbs-up emoji makes senders "look old."

A 24-year-old went as far as to say it's best to never use the thumbs-up emoji "as it is hurtful."


The thumbs-up emoji is particularly bad to use in a work chat, apparently.

"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," a woman told the Mail. "I don't know why but it seemed a little bit hostile to me."

Every generation has its flaws, but Gen Z being the generation that gets upset when a co-worker replies back to a message with a thumbs-up emoji is both laughable and horrifying. This is a generation that will one day run the world.

Gen Z being triggered by an emoji at all is surprising, if you think about it.

This is the first social generation to have been born with the Internet and smartphones. You probably know a Gen Z'er who has trouble holding a conversation or is incapable of writing complete sentences, yet they find a digital emoji passive-aggressive?

It doesn't make much sense, but then again, not a lot does these days.

Don't let an emoji trigger you. Go outside more.

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Mark covers all sports at OutKick while keeping a close eye on the world of professional golf. He graduated from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga before earning his master's degree in journalism from the University of Tennessee. He somehow survived living in Knoxville despite ‘Rocky Top’ being his least favorite song ever written. Before joining OutKick, he wrote for various outlets including SB Nation, The Spun, and BroBible. Mark was also a writer for the Chicago Cubs Double-A affiliate in 2016 when the team won the World Series. He's still waiting for his championship ring to arrive. Follow him on Twitter @itismarkharris.