Man, communicating in today’s ever-changing, ever-more-technological world can be confusing. Not only that, but for the lazy among us (points at self), keeping up can be a huge challenge. I don’t want to have to figure out some new emoji or social media platform every other week. Who has that kind of time?
Today, I do, and so I’m going to take one for the team and help you out. After all, George Costanza-esque confusion is not something we want to sink to. Ever.
Emojis can be a fun way to accent your conversations or convey complex emotions in one tiny image. But do you really know what they mean and how you should be using them, especially when you’re chatting with Millennials or Gen-Z kids? No? Well, here you go!
#20. Face with Tears of Joy
The most popular emoji of 2015, it was actually added to the Oxford English Dictionary and is most often used to describe tears of joy or extreme laughter.
#19. Smiling Face with Smiling Eyes
With it’s rosy cheeks and closed mouth, this is one smiley face (out of many) that conveys true happiness.
#18. Weary Face
Use this one when you’re so over life that you need to go home and bury your face in cookie dough and wine. Basically, you “just can’t even” any more.
#17. Confounded Face
You feel like you’re just not up to the task. You might be about to cry, and it’s time to go escape to your quiet space.
#16. All Teeth Grinning Face with Smiling Eyes
Not to be confused with its awkward cousin Grimacing Face, you can identify this one by it’s happy, smiling eyes. They signify that you are very pleased.
#15. Face Without Mouth
Save this one for dire situations, ones in which you want to communicate that something is not right. Basically, it means “imagine what she would say if she had a mouth!”
#14. Kissing Face with Closed Eyes
Like me, you may have assumed this face was whistling. Nope. Note its rosy cheeks and happy eyes – it’s blowing a kiss. Just maybe not such a lovey-dovey kiss as the emoji blowing an actual heart.
#13. Smiling Face with Sunglasses
You are straight up too cool for school. Basically, you’ve just done something totally awesome, and you’re bragging a bit. You go, Glen Coco.
#12. Information Desk Person
This one is tricky – see how her hand is out like she’s serving someone an invisible plate of STFU? Yep. Use this one when you’ve out-sassed a friend, when you’re being sarcastic, or when you’ve just unleashed an undeniable zinger to win the argument.
#11. Japanese Goblin
I had no idea what this one meant or why it was included in my standard list of emojis. Turns out that it’s called a Tengu, which, according to this Japanese Buddhist Statuary website, “are mountain and forest goblins with both Shinto and Buddhist attributes.” Basically, they’re little creatures with supernatural powers like shape-shifting, apparating, and basically using sorcery to confound and torment annoying human beings.
They are also “the patron of martial arts…the bird-like Tengu is a skilled warrior and mischief maker, especially prone to playing tricks on arrogant and vainglorious Buddhist priests…”
Which, though interesting, still doesn’t give me a clue as to when I might want to use it. He does look pretty pissed off though.
#10. Fisted Hand Sign
Pretty obvious that, if you send this, you’ve just nailed something and need a fist bump. What you might not know is that if a friend sends it to YOU, you should send one in return. Alternatively, you could reply with the 100 symbol.
#9. Beating Heart
Sure, it looks like a heart with wifi, but ignore that part. This emoji symbolizes love or life, and it should be saved for your special someone.
#8. Anger Symbol
Yep, that’s what that is. If you were up on your anime you’d know that!
#7. Expressionless Face
When you literally have no comment on the situation because it’s just that crappy. Brother to the same expression with open eyes, which means you’re less irritated and more neutral.
#6. Persevering Face
Look closely to discern the difference between this emoji and the Confounded and Weary faces. It means something slightly different: you feel helpless in a situation, but you’re gonna keep on keeping on.
#5. Disappointed But Relieved Face
This face is somewhat relieved but still distressed – basically, you’ve managed to come through a sticky situation, but not without some bumps and bruises.