How to Understand What Your Teens Are Texting

With 150 new Emojis you might have some trouble understanding your teenager's text messages. Here's what they mean



The first major update for the iOS 9 is here, bringing with it glitch fixes, improved stability, Live Photos and over 150 new Emojis. The preferred method of communication for those who despise the written word or just love that little poop cartoon, Emojis have been a big part of our lives since their Japanese research facility inception. Our modern hieroglyphs, these little monkeys, dancing ladies and screaming faces have helped us communicate the emotions that are sometimes beyond words—so what new stories can these fresh Emojis tell? The possibilities are endless, but here are a few suggestions.

“I’m rich”


Purpose: For when they just got their allowance.

Thanks to this new set of Emojis, when your teen wants to express the sentiment of wealth, they no longer have to type a bunch of dollar signs and smileys like some kind of heathen. Instead, they’ve now got a mystical wind lady, a rain cloud, and a little face that is quite literally made of money. Put them all together and they’re makin’ it rain.

“I’m drunk” or more accurately “I’m so happy it feels like I’m drunk”


Purpose: For when they’re feeling a little out of it.

Texting can be quite a challenge when you’re giddy, and sometimes the dead x eyes Emoji just doesn’t say everything a teen needs it to about their state of mind. Luckily, the kind folks at Apple have given them a mercilessly unblinking, single eye, which we’re fairly sure we’ve seen before in our nightmares, as well as a happy, pink unicorn and a burrito. As parents, we can do the math.

“That guy is shady”


Purpose: For when they’re not quite sure about that dude.

While there’s not yet a good suspicious, one-eyebrow-raised Emoji for when they (or you) want to express not buying someone’s story, there is an Emoji in full detective gear, which is basically skepticism embodied. Combined with the strange, tiny, floating business man who clearly is up to no good and the pensive face (where did the emoji hands come from? No one told us they had hands), this emoji grouping screams “Yeah, what is that guy’s deal?

“I will kill you”


Purpose: For when you’re feeling murderous (because they didn’t clean their room…or when you find out they’ve been texting after bedtime perhaps?).

Concernedly, Apple has actually given us a lot of ways to express this message, innocently stored under “Objects.” The most direct combination feels like the sharply downward angled dagger, the skull and cross bones and the detailed wooden casket, but there are also new chains, crossed swords and an alarming device called “Compression” if you want to mix it up a bit. Even if you don’t understand this one they will…and they’ll stop doing whatever it is you are murderous about.

“I miss the good old days”


Purpose: For when they’re feeling nostalgic (or trying to pretend they are at least)

You may wonder why Apple decided to bring images of antiquated technology like the joystick and trackball to the Emoji party, but we’re pretty sure it was for this exact purpose: to remind them of simpler times, before technology got so complicated (and before they even existed). So the next time they’re bored of Candy Crush and or just feel generally tired of modernity, they can sit back, sigh, and text their friend a joystick, trackball and sad-looking person. Because it’s always okay to pour one out for the past.

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