Gen Z Say The Laughing Crying Emoji Isn’t Cool Anymore And Millennials Can’t Handle It

by : Julia Banim on : 16 Feb 2021 12:30
Gen Z Say The Laughing Crying Emoji Isn't Cool Anymore And Millennials Can't Handle Itjackherbert3/TikTok

There was once a time when I just sort of knew what was cool, feeling it deep in my bones in much the same way you can feel whether it’s sunny or snowing out.

In this same vein, I could usually sense when something was on the way out, whether that be a phrase or an overplayed song. A slab of once-appetising cheese going mouldy in the fridge of relevant pop culture references and viral trends.


I am now firmly in what you would describe as The X Factor’s Over 25s category, and it’s only a matter of time before I begin sharing memes from three years ago with complete sincerity. And so it is that I now turn to Gen Z on such matters, the new oracles of what is hot and what is absolutely not.

emojisPA Images

Now, Gen Z have made me feel particularly decrepit today with the revelation that the ‘crying laughing emoji’ is no longer considered acceptable in younger circles.

Admittedly, this is one of my most overused reactions in my WhatsApp groups, and I can only imagine the depths of uncoolness to which I would undoubtedly sink should my chats ever come to light.


But how else would I adequately convey my responses to Married At First Sight Australia, or respond to the various silly escapades of my friends? To me, the crying laughing emoji holds so much, says so much. And with such joyful simplicity.

Sadly, I must put such elderly ways behind me now, with 21-year-old Walid Mohammed informing CNN Business:

I use everything but the laughing emoji. I stopped using it a while back because I saw older people using it, like my mom, my older siblings and just older people in general.


17-old Xavier Martin described the ‘crying laughing’ emoji as ‘bland’, remarking that ‘not too many people’ in his age group would choose to use it.

Meanwhile, 21-year-old Stacy Thiru explained that she prefers the ‘real crying’ emoji as it shows a more extreme emotion and had a more dramatic feel to it. A sentiment I do understand.

emojiPA Images

Stacy, who is apparently unable to even locate the laughing crying emoji on her iPhone keyboard, also doesn’t care for the once favoured ‘Rolling on the Floor Laughing’ emoji, noting, ‘My mom doesn’t even use it.’ Ouch.


Gen Z-ers have reportedly now turned to the skull emoji as a means of showing their digital laughter. This is of course a visual way of saying ‘I’m dead’, as in dying of laughter.

Chucking in the ‘Loudly Crying Face’ emoji, or simply writing ‘lol’ or ‘lmao’, are also still acceptable ways of showing your online mirth.

However, as uncool as it may make me, I think I’m going to stick with the crying laughing emoji for now. Maybe one day it will become retro and cool all over again?

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Life, Gen Z, Now, TikTok


CNN Business
  1. CNN Business

    Sorry, millennials. The 😂 emoji isn't cool anymore