From LOL being outdated to same emojis meaning different things: 5 hilarious ways chatting has evolved


‘You slay, queen.’

Have you heard a Gen Z-er saying this? Or them complaining how something was “cringe”? Do you know what WHYUIOI means? Well, turns out, it is all part of new slang that the younger generation is adopting.

From using a skull sign for funny and LOL being outdated to a keyboard smash and cringe culture, a lot has changed in the way people chat with each other on social media.

With the UAE has been named the social media capital, team KT decided to ask Gen Z about the latest chat lingo. Here are some of the hilarious answers we got:

1. Same emoji, different meanings: The emoji of laughing with tears gushing out of the eyes is something only used by the older generation. “Gen Z uses the crying emoji to signify that something is funny,” said content creator Aman who is a university student. “Or if it is really hilarious, we use the skull sign. The sign for rolling on the floor and laughing is actually used as sarcasm. Similarly, the one wink smiley is something no one uses any more.”

2. LOL- Leave out the laughs: According to Gen Z, no one says lol without it being sarcastic any more. “We use ‘lmao’ even though it isn’t very appropriate,” said university student Sheza Saleem. “Lol is a very outdated thing to say.” According to 16-year-old Annie T., certain chat usages also depend on the culture. “Chat lingos also vary in each country or culture,” she said. “For example, in Thailand, hahaha is 555.”

3. Keyboard Smash: The relatively new but extremely popular trend in chatting sees youngsters typing gibberish to signify surprise or shock. “‘WHDUCUUSIW’ is a very common sight in Gen Z chats,” said Aman. “Say if someone says something shocking, I would go WHDHDUU WHAT? Each keyboard smash has to interpreted based on the situation, the weather, the humidity, and what was served for lunch.”

4. Have a dictionary of new lingo: According to 13-year-old school student Mini Iqbal, teen lingo changes every day. “Sometimes I joke with my parents that they need to keep a folder that has to be updated regularly if they want to keep across all the new lingo that is being introduced on a daily basis especially on Tiktok.” Amaan agreed. “Till last week, the trending usage was slay but yesterday I used it in front of my 11-year-old sister and she looked at me like I was an alien,” he said. “So, I think ‘slay’ is over. It changes every week or so.”

5. Cringe Culture: Memes are really popular among Gen Z and according to Sheza, it is largely because of the cringe culture. “I am not sure if it is because we take ourselves too seriously and everything becomes a source of embarrassment or if it is because we take ourselves so lightly that we are always willing to laugh at each other and ourselves,” she said. “Every other word or dialogue turns into a meme. Sometimes even noises. Our meme culture is pretty strong.”

It was on Tuesday that the UAE was named the social media capital of the world by a study based on the data of World Population Review. The study also revealed that UAE consumers on average spend seven hours and 29 minutes a day on the Internet each day, which is the 13th highest in the world.


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