How To Up Your Emoji Game If You’ve Got Friends Under 25

mobile design concept: woman holding a 3d generated smartphone and sending emoticons. Graphics on screen are made up.

If you’re “older” – like, over the age of 25 – there’s a good chance that you’re not using emojis in your texts or social media the way that the “cool kids” do.

Basically, the emoji game is constantly changing, with even the meaning of a given emoji being different from one month to the next – so if you want to know (as of today) if you’re texting the right emojis to your “younger” friends, keep reading!

First, let’s start with a general rule – which is that while Millennials (and older) tend to use emojis literally (like by the definition), Gen Z is more likely to use them sarcastically or ironically.

Image Credit: iStock

This applies even to the simple smiley face, which to you, might mean you’re feeling casual and friendly, but if you’re texting a college student, they’ll think the opposite.

One explained to Lifehacker that…

“It seems sinister, to be honest.

It says something like ‘I am tolerating you, and pretending I am happy, but I am not happy.'”

Instead, try using the cowboy hat face, which “may convey a sense of exuberance, whimsy, confidence, adventure, or other sentiments,” according to emojipedia.com.

The smiling face with smiling eyes or a goofy, tongue out smile are also decent options.

When it comes to conveying laughter in text, most of us know that LOL or LMAO are no longer the way to go.

Image Credit: iStock

A lot of older people think the crying laughing face is the way to go, but even though it’s the most-used emoji in the world, 21-year-old Walid Mohammed says just say no.

“I use everything but the laughing emoji.

I stopped using it a while back because I saw older people using it like my mom, my older siblings, and just older people in general.

If someone genuinely makes you laugh until you “die,” Gen Z says you can’t go wrong with the skull emoji.

The loudly crying face is also an option, though this old person can’t really figure out why.

If you’re still confused, the best move is probably to just not use emojis at all – or you know, do you and don’t worry what the kids think.

Image Credit: iStock

There are over 3000 emojis currently, and more are always coming down the pike, which means it can be hard-to-impossible to keep up – and honestly, as an adult, who has the time?

So, do what you like. Use periods. LOL. Use the eye-roll face and the crying laughing face to your heart’s content. No one you text (other than your kids) is probably going to judge you for it anyway.

According to at least one Gen Z-er, less is more when it comes to emojis, anyway.

“Mainstream emojis have become so overused that they’re cringey,” he informs us.

I would like to inform him that “cringey” is not actually a word but I have no way to get in touch.

Oh, well.