Enough is enough. For too long, Americans have been using the “shruggie” — ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ — for all of our emoticon needs. I say: No more. While the shruggie, meant to represent a person offering a resigned shrug (just look at it), is one of the true linguistic gifts of the internet era, there’s a whole wide world of kaomoji out there waiting to take the U.S. by storm.
Kaomoji are, of course, Japanese-style emoticons, first imported to U.S. internet shores by anime forum posters. Why use kaomoji? They’re more elaborate and more expressive — and also more practical: You don’t need to tilt your head to the side to read them.
While some basic kaomoji — the shruggie, the crying face (;_;), the happy face (^_^) — have been adopted by the internet’s prosumer category, it’s time to close up the kaomoji gap and make America great again. In 2016, take the pledge to use more kaomoji more often. What will be the Next Great ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ? Use this post as a reference for copying-and-pasting.
Some nominees …
(◕‿◕✿) Flower Girl
A classic. (◕‿◕✿) is, much like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, applicable in almost any situation. It can be used genuinely, maybe when you’re feeling pretty! But it is also perfect for passive-aggressive messages.
(づ￣ ³￣)づ Kissy Face
It’s time to step up your sexting game. Sending the face with the heart eyes and a bunch of hearts isn’t gonna cut it anymore. That’s amateur hour. (づ￣ ³￣)づ is a perfect addendum to any text message. It’s romantic and cute without being threatening. Imagine if, instead of responding to the pope with “fuck me, daddy,” teens sent him (づ￣ ³￣)づ instead.
(⁄ ⁄•⁄ω⁄•⁄ ⁄) Embarrassed
Let’s be honest: You’re gonna make a fool of yourself in 2016. Multiple times. Everyone’s gonna laugh at you online. You could try and tweetstorm your way out of it, or, in the words of my AP English teacher: “Own it.” Next year is the year of owning your mistakes, and (⁄ ⁄•⁄ω⁄•⁄ ⁄) is perfect for that.
( ་ − ་ )ུ Disappointed Dad
Obviously this is open to interpretation, and the last thing I want to do is misgender a kaomoji, but this one always reminds me of a disappointed dad with his pipe. Like, this is perfect for situations where you’re starting to feel old and out of touch with the Youths.
( ༎ຶ ༎ຶ ) Crying Blood
Gang, when I’m crying blood, there’s only one kaomoji I turn to. It’s ( ༎ຶ ༎ຶ ) . Sometimes the standard crying emoji just don’t cut it. When you see something so bad that you want to claw your eyes out, ( ༎ຶ ༎ຶ ) is the one to turn to.
( ＾◡＾)っ✂╰⋃╯ Misandry
I have a feeling that misandry is coming back in a big way in 2016. Here’s a nice but threatening way to tell dudes to back off.
( う-´)づ︻╦̵̵̿╤── \(˚☐˚”)/ Gun Violence
If this was a New York Times front-page headline, I’d definitely read the article.
(凸ಠ益ಠ)凸 Middle Fingers
You know what this is. It’s the angry middle-finger guy. S/he is incredibly angry about something, as we all are, every day, until we die. There is no situation where (凸ಠ益ಠ)凸 isn’t appropriate.
_(┐「ε:)_ Giving Up and Dying
Look, there’s nothing wrong with giving up. Sometimes you just want to lie down and die, letting nature consume your corpse and return you to the earth from whence you came. We all know that feel.
ʕ ·(エ)· ʔ Bear