Move over kids, grandma and grandpa over here have entered the emojis game!
Emojis have been sailing the ship of conversation media for a while now. They have picked up momentum with the 65+ generation.
But what has really gotten our senior citizens in a frenzy over emojis?
Originally, emojis were created as a symbolic representation of emotions.
Similar to punctuation, emojis are used to express emotion – irony or humour. They are great at substituting body language and tone of voice in text-based communication.
This form of conversation media is a popular notion among the Genz’s that their parents don’t get the hype around the digital hots. But don’t be so fast to dismiss your old friends when they might actually be better at it than you. The surveys and research certainly show so!
50% of 2000 Americans surveyed by “Onepoll” revealed that they bond better with their grandkids using emojis.
Great Senior Living, a site that focuses on senior care and retirement living undertook a survey. It surveyed 500 people aged 55 and older on their emoji use. It discovered that contrary to any ageist notions floating around, your parents and grandparents didn’t just fall off the digital turnip truck. A good portion of candidates used emojis frequently and almost all of them had texted them once.
The question that might be nagging you is why has shift taken place in a generation that might be the farthest from digitalization and androids?
1. Emojis are pros at showing genuine emotions
Visuals like emojis and GIFs can make up for the useful cues that are often missing from digital chit-chatting. Like the eyebrow raise, shoulder shrugs, eye rolls.
For older people, those visuals aren’t just helpful for adding clarity in text and mobile messages. They actually feel that they can better express themselves through these digital tools.
So the next time your grandfather sends you a “laughing” face, they’re exposing themselves to digital chatting. They are trying to liven up the black & white texts and maybe you can put the effort back too!
More than 40% of those over the age of 65 feel more comfortable and connected to their family and friends. With smiley faces, they are able to better communicate their feelings and thoughts than words do.
2. Realistic conversations
One of the most important reasons senior citizens love emojis is that we react to them like we would in person. If you ever wish that you could talk to your distant family or grandkids face-to-face, here is some good news.
For you, an emoji might be the next best thing. Research suggests that when we look at a smiley face online, specific parts of the brain are activated as when we look in real life.
3. with people we need to share
our feelings and emotions with that person. It forms an essential part of how we build and maintain close relationships. Emojis help us, the younger and older generation alike, to do this more sincerely and freely. It is not just about the emoji, but the feeling behind it matters as well.
Emojis provide us with a majority of social well-being, physical health, and emotional wellness.
A recent survey finds that those over 65 even have favorite emojis including the heart (43%) and the happy face (43%). Other popular emojis include the beer emoji and assorted animals. One in 10 have even surpassed emoji use and now send GIFs to stay in touch with their grandchildren.
4. Some of the credit goes to 2020
The pandemic has affected all walks of life, not even leading behind our grandparents and the aged. It has motivated them to learn and use social media actively to engage with their family and kids. Reeling from the lack of physical interactions, those who live away from their families often have come to rely on digital means.
Tossing emojis here and there in everyday conversations has played a large part in bridging the emotional gap. After all, who would not feel better on receiving “heart” emojis from their grandparents on their birthday or a “snowman” emoji on Christmas?
Researchers examined changing attitudes toward family and joy after a year of isolation. Families all over the world saw an influx of tech-savvy elders. Finding a way around in-person chats, people were thankful to technology for keeping them connected through a global disaster.
5. Holding a healthy conversation
on your smart screen is no easy feat. Especially for the aged who may have difficulties typing long sentences on small keyboards or engaging in rapid chats fluently. Emojis make the task less daunting and more entertaining for both the reader and the sender. They are a more advanced form of text-based, casual conversation and they engage the reader.
Honestly, sending a ‘sleeping’ emoji might be a better choice than having to type “Good night!” or a ‘hand waving’ emoji sounds better than “Talk to yours later, bye!”.
These days, they are everywhere as they increase the precision and nuance of our often super-brief and open-to-misunderstanding communications. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. Today, emojis offer us all a wider breadth of emotion that is often lost over email and text-based communication.
For instance, seeing the little ‘heart’ emojis after a casual email from my grandfather will instantaneously make me feel loved. I would not hesitate to pick up the phone right then! So what such visual expressions are doing is enhancing daily messages and greetings. Turning to genuine, love-filled chats from our family & friends. And it was only a matter of time before our grandparents got roped into this fascinating revolution too!
Those little smiling faces have changed the way we communicate. The impact is visible more so in the older generations where people have taken time to learn the language of their grandkids. Why, you ask? Well, the answer is simple and human. The desire to connect and bond with their younger family members can be a powerful drive for any grandparent.
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