If you’re someone who is, say, over the age of maybe 28 you might find it hard to keep up with what emojis are cool and which ones have fallen out of fashion. Like with social media sites in general, the younger, cooler, more hip generation always seems to move onto something new just when the olds have caught on.
So, if you’ve been seeing an emoji that looks like one of those Easter Island heads but you can’t figure what it means…you’re not wrong, and we’re about to clue you in.
The Moai statues, which you can find on the Easter Islands, were carved from massive rocks between 1250 and 1500 C.E. by the Rapa Nui people. They’re thought to represent the Rapa Nui ancestors watching over the village, but honestly, all 900 statues are kind of a mystery.
The question is, though, why their serious, droll expressions are suddenly popping up all over the internet.
According to Dictionary.com the emoji is “meant to imply strength or determination, and it’s also used frequently in Japanese pop-culture posts.”
In use, though, you’ll see people also (and maybe even more often) using it to mimic a deadpan or dry expression in response to someone else saying something not at all smart (for example).
These meanings are always in flux, though, so no promises it will still mean exactly the same thing in the weeks to come.
🗿 Moyai. A statue in Shibuya Tokyo, inspired by rock carvings on Easter Island http://t.co/Z03UmfMfmd pic.twitter.com/5vZdqv8LH1
— Emojipedia (@Emojipedia) August 2, 2014
We should note that some people believe that, instead of the Moai statues, the emoji is actually referencing the statue of Moyai located in the Shibuya Station in Tokyo, Japan. It’s a local landmark and explains the references to Japan referenced by Dictionary. com.
There you go – now you can go forth and use the emoji with confidence (at least for today).