Relax, this emoji 😂 isn’t dead in the Philippines—just yet

Published February 18, 2021, 5:00 PM

by Jane Kingsu-Cheng

When a mommy friend of mine posted that this emoji 😂 is non-existent in the world of the Gen Zs, I couldn’t believe it. Here’s a refresher: According to Blue Book Services, those who are born between the years 1995 to 2010 are part of the Gen Z generation. In short, the age range is between 11 to 26 years old.

Artwork by Ariana Maralit

The first thing I did was ask my 11-year-old son who was born in 2009. I showed him the emoji, and he told me that he’s never seen it. *Gasps!* When asked what he uses when he laughs in a conversation, “Just ‘haha’ or ‘HAHA.'” Okay, my son is borderline Gen Z and can lean towards the next generation of Alphas. I should find older “children” to interview.

So I went a bit further and asked my 18-year-old niece Caitlin Joyce Dyogi. “I don’t use it. More on caps lock ‘HAHAHA’ because it’s easier to type that than to look for the emoji,” she explains. Ok, it seems the younger generation are not inclined in using 😂.

Caitlin Dyogi

I still believe that this emoji is as mainstream as I think it is, so I asked another mommy friend if I could interview her two Gen Z daughters. Twenty-two-year-old Kayla and 20-year-old Candace Nubla are the sisters behind @waxbysol. While the older sister admits to using 😂, but she uses “hahaha” more. “I use this emoji when I find something really funny and ‘hahaha’ isn’t enough.” On the other hand, Candace uses this emoji 🤣 instead. “I associate the other laughing emoji as being sarcastic or not really funny.”

Kayla and Candace Nubla

What about the influencers? I reached out to my colleague’s son, 21-year-old Ady Cotoco who is quite the TikTok sensation. He answered me right away that he uses this emoji, “but there are other ways to show that you’re laughing.” Ady shares that he uses “HAHAHAHAHA,” “LOOOOL (Laughing Out Loud with exaggerated Os),” LMAO (Laughing My A** Off).” His circle of friends would add 😂 if needed, “rarely used but we still use it from time to time, or sometimes, if we’re lazy, we do this: 😂😂😂😂.”

It seems, based on my interviews, that the younger Gen Zs do not like using this emoji, but the older Gen Zs still do. So don’t worry, millennials, titallenials, and gen x friends, this emoji is here to stay in our country for awhile. The other side of the world might not agree with us, but the “tita” in me is rejoicing haha… This emoji will still be in my top five for a few more months at the very least.

😂 isn’t cancelled yet—not if I can help it hahahaha 😂