Look, I get it: emoji don’t come with a user manual. We often have to make educated guesses as to their intended use — and even then, we typically co-opt a seemingly innocuous image to turn it into something more fiery and subversive (nails being painted, anyone?).
So, I can’t say I’m surprised that there now appears to be widespread parental confusion over the accepted meaning of a particular emoji. It was really only a matter of time.
As originally noted by BuzzFeed reporter Dave Stopera, there’s been a recent bout of perversion in emoji usage by grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles alike: apparently, nobody understands the difference between the crying emoji and the hysterically laughing emoji.
In case you needed a point of reference, here they are:
As expected, this confusion is causing some hilariously entertaining miscommunications.
Did grandma really confuse her emoji, or is she just ice cold?
Have some damn respect, people.
Seriously, everyone needs to sort out their parents’ emoji habits before they accidentally offend someone.
Of course, there’s always the possibility that parents are simply pretending to be oblivious about their emoji usage in order to troll us all. (In which case, well-played, old people.)
Either way, it’s probably best to text your relatives and give them this important update so they don’t accidentally come across as heartless and insensitive.
Although, perhaps truly sad texts should simply be emoji-free? Just a thought.