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I’m basically living my best life now. Not to exaggerate or anything, but two fantastic things have happened to me this week. The first is that, for some reason, Matt was given an electric typewriter—I kid you not. And it has ink. So what you do is, you plug it in, and then you perch it on your lap (I mean, I feel like it should go on a table, but that means getting out of your chair and going into another room) and then—this is so epic—you start typing and all the words come up on a page. The keys make a satisfying and cheerful clack, and after a few minutes, you have an actual piece of paper full of writing, whatever kind of writing you like. I managed, last night, to cover the floor around my chair with bits of the stuff covered in neat lines while everyone was trying to tell me about their day. I don’t know how I could have turned out to be so fortunate. Maybe there is a God.

The second wonderful thing is this:

Sending a thumbs-up can be seen as passive aggressive and even confrontational, according to Gen Z who claim they feel attacked whenever it is used. Whether the chat is informal, between friends or at work the icon appears to have a very different, ‘rude’ meaning for the younger generation. A 24-year-old on Reddit summed up the Gen Z argument, saying it is best ‘never used in any situation’ as it is ‘hurtful’.

It’s so hard, these days, to make sure people really know when you’re being passive-aggressive and “even confrontational.” Like, no one can tell, I think. So what a blessing to have something so simple and by it communicate so much—a tiny ugly little yellow thumbs up shining brightly on the screen. There you are, struggling with your phone and your credit card, juggling a lot of overpriced items at the self-checkout, trying to decide whether or not to pay an extra five cents for a paper bag that will break before you get all the way across the parking lot, and a Very Young Person texts you. They need information from you right away, because that’s how things are now. They have at least had the sense not to call. Thank goodness that bad custom has gone the way of all flesh. But somehow there is still the expectation of immediate communication. You hoist up your gallon of milk, shove your card back into your pocket, and, arms full of bread and jam and tins of cat food, slide your thumb along your phone while not dropping it, to let your interlocutor know that you hear what they’re saying, and will get back to them really soon, like maybe within ten minutes after you have managed to bash your way across the traffic and into your house with all your unbagged stuff.

May the mercies of heaven be thanked that now you can so easily get in that extra little dig and cause someone else to spiral out with that great little picture on a device and a platform no one wanted anyway.

‘No one my age in the office does it, but the Gen X people always do it. Took me a bit to adjust and get [it] out of my head that it means they’re mad at me,’ he added.

Oh, honey, we are mad at you. All of us “Gen X people” are mad at you because you care about this. The fact that you are trying to shame us, and pry our important emojis out of our sun-spotted gnarly fists is making us full of rage. You think you’re triggered, you.have.not.seen.anything.yet.

‘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. ‘I don’t know why but it seemed a little bit hostile to me,’ one woman said. 

Maybe you should spend so more time trying to figure out why. And maybe the quest would lead you to bigger and more important questions, like, ‘Why am I here?” and “Is there a God?” and “What happens to me when I die?”

And according to Business Consultant Sue Ellson it could be time to take the younger generation’s lead. 

Could it be time? It could…but that would mean not writing “articles” like this about this very stupid and foolish subject. So I dunno, maybe it’s not time yet.

She believes words are always better than symbols in a professional icon and can see how people are disillusioned by the ‘all good’ icon. 

See, now, that’s pretty upsetting to me. Because I also prefer words. They’re my favorite. But now I have this stupid phone, and all these dumb apps. People who have no idea about my preferences made it very hard to type words and instead filled the wretched thing with these dumb little emojis. So no, now that you’ve given them to me, you cannot suddenly decide that “words are always better than symbols.” No, not your call anymore Bucko.

And a poll of 2,000 youngsters between 16-29 found the same, with the majority using it agreeing that those who send it are ‘officially old and past it’. Other emojis used by ‘old people’ that ranked in the top ten include the red love heart, the OK hand and grimacing face. 

Oh, I see, I’m being trolled. My bad. Never mind. I guess I’ll totter off into the sunset. “Officially old and past it” forsooth. I was going to go on through the whole piece but I have better things to do. HAVE A NICE DAY HashtagTHUMBSUP

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

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