Emojis have become an integral part of communication for the younger generation, particularly for Gen Zs. The use of emojis has evolved from just being a fun way to express emotions in a text message to a form of communication in its own right.
In this article, we’ll explore how Gen Zs are using emojis and what it says about their communication preferences.
First and foremost, emojis are a form of self-expression. Gen Zs have grown up with technology and social media, so it’s no surprise that they have embraced emojis as a way to express themselves. Emojis can convey emotions and reactions more accurately than text alone, allowing users to communicate in a more nuanced way.
Moreover, emojis have evolved into a form of visual language that is unique to Gen Z. They have created their own set of emoji combinations and interpretations that may not be easily understood by those outside their age group.
Here are ways Gen Zs use emojis differently:
Gen Zs often use emojis to emphasize a point, break up a conversation, or even to just express enthusiasm.
For example, Gen Zs may use it in a post like, “That’s awesome 🤩” to show how excited they are.
In this context, the grinning face with star eyes emoji 🤩 is used to break up the text, add emphasis, and show excitement. Of course, the emoji is also used as a replacement for the exclamation point.
Gen Zs are using emojis in the same way that they would create a storyboard—by combining different emojis and characters together to form stories or visual narratives.
For example, when Gen Zs want to convey a story or message without writing out the entire narrative, they might use a combination of emojis as a type of visual storytelling.
A statement with an emoji combination could be like, “It’s been a long day and 😩😴” where the emojis could be interpreted as “I’m exhausted.”
3. Conversation Starters
Gen Zs often use emojis to start a conversation, such as with flirting or sexting. This is done because the person on the receiving end can read into the context and interpretation of the message.
It could be like sending “👋” at the start of a conversation. The waving hand sign emoji is often used as an expression of hello, and the person on the receiving end can interpret it to mean “hi” in a casual, friendly way.
From celebrating victories to sending condolences, Gen Zs are using emojis to express their reactions in a much quicker way. This is especially helpful in group chats, where people can quickly convey their feelings with an emoji instead of having to type out a lengthy response.
For instance, when a post is shocking, one may comment on it with a reaction in the form of an emoji, like “😱” to show their surprise.
5. Personalizing Messages
Gen Zs are using emojis to personalize messages and make them more interactive. For example, adding an emoji to the end of a message can give the recipient a sense of familiarity with the sender, making it feel like they’re talking directly to them.
It could be like, “Hey, how’s it going? 🖐️” where the raised hand emoji is used to make the message more personal.
6. Hybrid Language
Gen Zs are also creating their own language with emojis, taking elements such as abbreviations and slang words to create a hybrid language that is unique to them.
For example, a Gen Zer might use the combination of “🤷♀️😂” which could be interpreted as “I don’t know, but it’s funny.”
7. Self Expression
Emojis often express sentiments and emotions that are difficult to communicate through words. For example, the laughing/crying emoji “😂” is a way for Gen Zs to express amusement without having to type out a long description of their reaction.
8. Universal Language
While for the longest time, English is a universal medium for communication, more and more people are starting to use emojis as the language of choice. This is especially true with Gen Zs, who have adopted emojis as their main form of expression.
To them, a single emoji can say what words cannot—from expressing their anger or joy to sending hugs and kisses. This is why emojis have become a universal language for Gen Zs, where they can communicate their thoughts without having to use words.
9. Show Solidarity
Gen Zs are using emojis to show solidarity and support for causes they care about. For instance, during the Black Lives Matter protests, people started posting 🖤 (black heart) to show their support for the movement.
Similarly, the rainbow flag emoji 🏳️🌈 is often used as a sign of acceptance and inclusivity of the LGBTQ+ community. With its use, Gen Zs are able to show their support and understanding of different causes, even if they aren’t able to attend protests or rallies.
Finally, Gen Zs use emojis to add humor to their conversations. Whether it’s using the face with tears of joy emoji 😂 or the pile of poo emoji 💩, these stickers can be used for comedic effect in conversations.
It is also a great way for Gen Zs to lighten the mood and make their conversations more fun and engaging. They can even use emojis to suggest an inside joke that only they would understand.
No matter how Gen Zs choose to use emojis, they are certainly changing the way people communicate with one another. s communication continues to evolve in the digital age, it will be interesting to see how emojis will continue to shape and influence communication in the future.
By understanding how Gen Zs are using emojis, we can gain greater insight into their communication preferences and how to effectively engage them.