Experts Reckon If You Use These Silly Emojis At Work It Means You Fkn Loathe Your Colleagues

Gene from The Emoji Movie walking sadly through city with text which reads "tfw my work mates hate me"

In a sign that technology has gone too far, folks have psychoanalysed the humble emoji and come to the conclusion that your coworkers could take a few of ’em the wrong way. And by that, I mean they might think you kind of hate their guts.

As someone who always works from home because I live in a city more than 3,000km away from my team, I’m taking notes. I simply must know if these people I call my friends, nay colleagues, loathe me.

This whole emoji hatred discourse started in an article from The New York Times, which looked at how it can be tricky to communicate via Slack — a messaging software used by loads of companies, including ye olde PEDESTRIAN.TV.

This is because, you know, it’s hard to inject personality and flair into a message when it’s being sent from someone with a photo of Chris Pine serving bob goals. Yes, he was my Slack avatar for a while and obviously, he did inspire me to bleach and cut my hair. Thank you, kind nepotism baby.

Who does his highlights? Twitter / @glamdemon2004

But alas, I digress. The long and short of it is that communicating online ain’t easy and wholesome shit sent in earnest can come across as passive-aggressive and mean. Enter the thumbs up and eyeball emojis, which add further shit to the miscommunication stew.

Thumbs Up Emoji (U+1F44D)

People have long thought this sausage-fingered hand is rude. Emojipedia editor-in-chief Keith Broni told The Daily Mail back in October that young folks in particular have a bone to pick with the thumbs up emoji.

“People from younger generations are trying to avoid the thumbs up emoji as they see it as passive aggressive and a low effort response,” he said.

And according to the NYT, loads of people interpret it as a “digital eye roll”.

If I’m being honest, they’re not wrong. That bad boy can so easily be misconstrued as meaning, like, “Nice one, dickhead,” when it’s literally just giving hearty approval.

I also go hog wild for a sarcastic thumbs up emoji so again, I get it. I am probably perpetuating this passy-aggressy emoji myth.

Eyes Emoji (U+1F440)

The NYT article also posited that the eyeball emoji can either mean “I’m looking at this” or “I’m giving you the side eye”.

If I may be frank, I believe both of these interpretations are a load of baloney. The eyeball emoji is clearly used in situations when tea is either offered or dropped, or when something spicy happens. You know, like you get an email alerting you to an urgent company-wide meeting or someone defiantly leaves a Slack channel after an argument about invoices.

‘Tis for tea and tea only. No negative vibes whatsoever, no siree.

On the other end of the emoji spectrum, Campaign Live editor Alison Weissbrot told the NYT she loves flinging an emoji around when she senses things are getting a bit heated.

“I know this is lame and cancelled but I love the crying laughing emoji,” she said.

“I also love the face gritting its teeth. If I mess up, I’ll be like, ‘Oops,’ with the gritting teeth.”

If anything — and absolutely no disrespect to Weissbrot — but the grimace emoji is arguably one of the most emotionally-loaded faces to use in conversation. You can’t tell me copping 😬 in a message from a colleague wouldn’t freak the living daylights out of you.