Connecting to the Next Generation: A Grandparent’s Guide to Emojis

Emojis have quickly become a common form of communication with millennials and the zennials (or generation Z). Even Oxford has recognized the significance of the communication images by making an emoji the Word of the Year in 2015. But what is so great about this type of communication and how can you use it to communicate with your grandkids? We’re glad you asked. Here is a grandparent’s quick guide to emojis!

It’s actually not all that tough to catch onto and can be a lot of fun. There are also some additional benefits to learning the lingo, so to speak. 

Why Are Emojis So Popular?

Well, you could say that it’s just because everyone is doing it. But that’s too simple an answer. The real reason is that many young people see it as an easier, less judgemental form of communication. They don’t have to worry about embarrassing themselves by misspelling words, worry if their bilingual friend will know what they are talking about, or wasting time typing lengthy texts. The fact is, we process picture meanings a lot faster than we do words and there are fewer possibilities for misunderstandings when sending quick messages. Just think of how an “Ok” message is fine, but an “Ok” message with a period at the end is considered aggressive or angry. Emojis eliminate that sort of nuance.

Why Should You Give Emojis a Try?

Apart from being a bit of fun to have with your grandkids, this is also a great way to show interest in the things your grandkids are doing. If you haven’t read our article on bridging the generation gap, then you might not know that connecting with the younger generation goes both ways. One of the most effective ways to interact with your younger grandchildren or great-grandchildren is to show an interest in things that are important to them. Let them explain and teach you how to use emojis.

Basic Guide to Emojis

Here is a quick guide to the most common emojis. These were copy and pasted from Facebook, however, if you are using your phone or tablet they might look slightly different.

😂 Tears of Joy

Remember how we mentioned that Oxford’s 2015 word of the year was an emoji? This is it. Often, this emoji is used instead of “LOL” to indicate you are laughing out loud to the point of crying.

😀Grinning Face 

This is one of several Smiley Face options and this group of emojis are among the most commonly used. It is used to show excitement or happiness or just to ensure a message sent has a friendly tone.

😅 Grinning with Sweat

This emoji has been around for a very long time in Japanese pop culture and was often depicted in animated cartoons. It can be used for good-natured embarrassment or relief. Think of it as an awkward laugh in a tense or slightly uncomfortable situation. It can also mean you are simply sweating, from exercise or otherwise.

😍Smiley Face with Heart Eyes

The Smiley Face with Heart Eyes is pretty straight forward and infers love or admiration. Either to say you love a person or thing. This can be used for anything like good news, a nice outfit, or a person.

😘Kiss Face

This is the Kiss Face and it depicts a kiss being blown. It’s not necessarily romantic, though it could be depending on the context. However, it is more commonly used as a sign-off or at the end of a message.

😎 Smiley Face with Sunglasses

This is the cool emoji, used to convey that something or someone is easy-going or “chill.” It can be used genuinely, sarcastically, and often to playfully self deprecate. As in someone talking about doing something nerdy and making fun of how cool it makes them. The cool emoji can also be used to indicate approval.

🙃Upside-Down Smiley Face

This emoji is one of the smiley faces flipped upside-down and has a wide range of interpretations, its meaning usually based on context. It can mean something is sarcastic or that you are feeling goofy. It is also sometimes used to replace a shrug. 

Now that you know the basics, have fun mixing things up.

Life Enriching Communities, Inc. (LEC), is an integrated family of lifestyle communities and senior living services in greater Cincinnati. Best known for our Twin Towers and Twin Lakes senior living communities, we have made aging well a top priority for nearly 120 years.

What Can You Do With A Tablet

Interest and demand for mobile devices–from a tablet to an e-reader or smartphone–has soared in recent years.  And the trend is no different for older adults.

What Older Adults Are Using Mobile Devices For

Many people get a tablet as a gift from a family member because they want them to stay in touch through email or social platforms. Yet what they are using it for goes far beyond email. Here’s just some of what we hear.

Getting Started 

  1. Don’t be afraid of it. Fear is often the first thing people talk about when they get a new tablet. Many think of today’s technology as being fast-paced but often don’t realize how user-friendly it can actually be.
  2. You don’t need formal computer training. You don’t need to have extensive computer background or take a university course. Many libraries and community centers offer free classes to help people understand how to use their tablets. Also, ask family and friends for tips and advice.
  3. Play around with it. Be adventurous and play around with the device and apps. The best way to learn is to explore the app store, see what you find, and learn as you go. 

Once people get over the initial fear, they usually find out how useful, powerful and fun a tablet can be.

Twin Lakes is a continuing care retirement community in Cincinnati, Ohio, offering villa homes, apartments, rehab services and more. We’re focused on supporting the vibrant and active lifestyles of our residents so they can age well. For more information, contact Twin Lakes online or at 513-247-1300.