Crack your teen's secret emoji code

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But which words may not always be clear โ€ฆ especially when it comes to teens and emojis. 

Teens are nothing if not inventive - and when it comes to carving out privacy from prying adult eyes, their creativity can be astounding โ€ฆ and often troubling.

The way teens use emojis in messaging and social media is a perfect case in point. Since the explosion in smartphone ownership over the past decade or so, young people have evolved a distinctive set of meanings for dozens of common symbols. 

Some of this is just good fun - a harmless form of visual slang. In other cases, though, emojis are being used as a secret code to conceal dicey activity and thoughts - often sex- and drug-related - from parents, teachers and caregivers. 

The following list is not exhaustive - but it will give you a good idea of the way our digital teens are developing a language all their own โ€ฆ and the need for parents to acquire fluency.

๐Ÿ‘It looks like a sign of agreement or โ€œliking.โ€ But depending on context it can mean just the opposite: โ€œF*#! You!โ€

๐Ÿฅ‘ Indicates someone or something is โ€œbasic.โ€

๐Ÿฃ โ€œI donโ€™t care what you think.โ€

๐Ÿ’ซ โ€œI feel dizzy.โ€

๐Ÿ†, ๐ŸŒ Penis

๐Ÿฅด Drunkenness or sexual arousal

๐Ÿ‘ Backside

 ๐Ÿ’ Breasts

๐ŸŒฎ Vagina

๐Ÿคก โ€œIโ€™ve been busted!โ€ (i.e. caught out)

๐Ÿ’€ Hilarious!

๐Ÿง , ๐Ÿ‘… Oral sex

๐Ÿงข A lie

๐Ÿ’ฆ, ๐ŸŽค Ejaculation, masturbation

๐Ÿƒ, ๐ŸŒณ, ๐ŸŒฑ, ๐Ÿฅฆ, โœ… Marijuana

๐Ÿ Indicates nudes (โ€œnoodsโ€) being sent or received

๐Ÿ‘€ Nudes being seen or requested

๐Ÿ”จ Sex

๐ŸŒถ โ€œHotโ€ or risque content

 ๐Ÿ’… โ€œI really donโ€™t careโ€

โ„๏ธ An overly sensitive person (โ€œsnowflakeโ€), or cocaine

๐Ÿ”Œ Drug dealer

๐Ÿ’‰ Tattoo

๐Ÿ˜ค, ๐Ÿคค MDMA (โ€œEcstasyโ€ or โ€œMollyโ€)

๐Ÿ‡ Testicles

๐Ÿ˜ต Iโ€™ve seen something x-rated

๐Ÿ™† Female orgasm

๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ’จ Smoking, vaping

โœ๏ธ โ€œTake my advice!โ€

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Topics: Cyber Bullying, Parental Controls, Screen time, Mobile Apps, Excessive Device Usage, sexting, teens on social media, drugs, emoji

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