Middle Finger Emoji Implications and Uses

The middle finger emoji is, hands down, the most requested icon to appear on your Apple emoji keyboard and it looks like people are finally going to get their wish when iOS 8 is released in the fall. While many people will be happy that it has been included in the new operating system, it does raise some points about how and when it should be used in order not to cause offense to people who receive a message with this included.
Emojis are very popular for use in text messages and on social media sites and there are many icons already available that suit a number of occasions. It is now common to see birthday cake emojis next to a happy birthday message on Facebook and the new icons that are set for release as part of iOS 8 are sure to be just as popular. Also planned are icons that can be used to show what activities people are doing such as shopping bags and books.

When Not to Flip the Bird

In more formal communications, such as work emails, it is probably not a good idea for emojis to be used at all, except maybe in emails between colleagues where no offense will be taken. However tempted people get to send the middle finger emoji to their boss in the heat of the moment, the consequences that they may face mean that using the middle finger emoji in this way is definitely something that should be avoided…unless, of course, you get fired!

Acceptable Uses Of Middle Finger Emoji

When deciding whether to use this aggressive glyph, a person is probably going to have to use their judgment about how it will be viewed by the person who is going to receive the message. If it is being sent to a close friend then they are more likely to accept in the spirit it was intended than somebody that the person does not know quite as well. A good rule of thumb to use is that if a person is not sure how the recipient of the message will react to the use of the middle finger emoji, it is probably best not to include it in the message at all. Of course, if a person does not care if they upset the person they are sending the message to then they may just go ahead and include the middle finger emoji anyway.
There are people that probably will disapprove of the middle finger emoji when it is released but if any problems do occur due to the use of the icon, this is likely to be down to the people that the messages are sent between rather than because of the icon itself. While emojis are very popular for use in informal situations such as sending a text message or posting on a social media site, it may be a good idea not to use them at all in a work environment. Opinion regarding the inclusion of a middle finger emoji is likely to be divided with some people not understanding why it has been included at all, and others thinking it is long overdue.
Regardless of what side of the fence you fall on, responsible use of this powerful new emoji, cannot be understated. Use it responsibly …or not :)