Why you should never use the thumbs up emoji – new meaning sends a very different message
A TIKTOK user shared some helpful tips with millennials who use emojis when texting, including which ones they should never send.
The insightful information was shared by user @genwhyscarlett in a 1-minute long video on TikTok earlier this year.
In the video, Scarlett disclosed that she is a 30-year-old college student living in the dorms with predominantly Gen Z students.
She then went on to reveal the new meanings behind some of the most popular emojis, according to the younger generation.
“The following emojis don’t mean what I thought they mean,” Scarlett said in the video.
She kicked the list off with the ‘thumbs up’ emoji, which is typically used to communicate assent, approval, or encouragement.
The TikTok creator explained: “This is apparently very passive-aggressive these days”.
“So if you get this, be insulted immediately,” she added as she pointed to the emoji on her screen while smiling.
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The TikToker then addressed several other emojis, such as the teary-eyed emoji, which “for some godforsaken reason either means innocent or horny,” according to Scarlett.
She also noted that the sideways face emoji that is sticking its tongue out with one eye larger than the other still means “silly,” while the upside-down face emoji now represents the phrase “F**k my life.”
The TikTok post has gone viral since going live at the end of January, amassing more than 900,000 likes and thousands of comments.
“This is unfortunate because I use the thumbs up emoji at work all the time,” one user wrote.
“I use the thumbs up nonpassive aggressively, so uh maybe I need to go apologize to some people,” a second TikTok user added.
“OMG! Thank you for the Ted Talk, this was very informative,” a third TikToker wrote.
In other news, the creators of a chilling new horror game say that the title is so disturbing they’ve been forced to censor it on PlayStation.
Apple has announced updates to AirTags following claims that the coin-sized tracking devices are being used to stalk people.
And TikTok has announced new rules, banning users who deadname or misgender others.
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20 Common Scuba Diving Hand Signals
Natalie Gibb owns a dive shop in Mexico and is a PADI-certified open water scuba instructor and TDI-certified full cave diving instructor.
When you’re scuba diving with friends and you need to communicate underwater, knowing these 20 common scuba diving hand signals can really come in handy and, more importantly, keep you safe. It’s a very important second language for anyone who dives. Many of these hand signals are similar to common gestures and are easy to learn.
The first-hand signal that most scuba divers learn is the “OK” hand signal. Join the thumb and index fingers to form a loop and extend the third, fourth, and fifth fingers. This signal can be used as both a question and a response. The “OK” sign is a demand-response signal, meaning that if one diver asks another diver if he is OK, he must respond with either an “OK” signal in return or with the communication that something is wrong. The “OK” hand signal should not be confused with the thumbs-up signal, which in scuba diving means “end the dive.”
‘Not OK’ or ‘Problem’
Scuba divers communicate a problem by extending a flattened hand and rotating it slowly side to side, similar to how many people signal “so-so” in a normal conversation. A diver communicating a problem underwater should then point to the source of the problem using his index finger. The most common use of the “problem” hand signal is to communicate an ear equalization problem. All student divers learn the “ear problem” sign before they enter the water for the first time.
‘OK’ and ‘Problem’ on the Surface
During the open water course, scuba divers also learn how to communicate “OK” and “problem” on the surface. These surface communication signals involve the whole arm so that boat captains and surface support staff can easily understand a diver’s communication from far away.
The “OK” sign is made by joining both arms in a ring above the head, or if only one arm is free, by touching the top of the head with the fingertips. To indicate a problem the diver waves his arm overhead to call for attention. Don’t wave “hi” to a dive boat on the surface because the captain is likely to think you need assistance.
‘Up’ or ‘End the Dive’
A thumbs-up sign communicates “up” or “end the dive.” The “up” signal is one of the most important signals in scuba diving. Any diver can end the dive at any point for any reason by using the “up” signal. This important dive safety rule ensures divers are not forced beyond their comfort level underwater. The “up” signal is a demand-response signal. A diver who signals “up” to a fellow diver should receive the “up” signal in return so that he can be sure that the signal was understood.
The thumbs-down hand signal communicates “go down” or “descend” underwater. The “down” signal is used in the first step of the five-point descent, in which divers agree that they are prepared to begin to go deeper.
The “slow down” hand signal is another basic signal that all student divers learn before their first scuba dive. The hand is held out flat and motioned downward. Instructors use this signal to tell enthusiastic students to swim slowly and enjoy the incredible underwater world. Not only does swimming slowly make diving more fun, it also helps to avoid hyperventilation and other dangerous underwater behaviors.
Divers typically communicate “stop” in one of two ways. The first method (common in recreational diving) is to hold up a flat hand, palm forward, as a traffic cop would.
Technical divers, however, favor the “hold” sign, made by extending a fist with the palm-side of the fist facing outward. The “hold” sign is a demand-response signal: A diver who signals “hold” should receive a “hold” sign in return, indicating that his fellow divers have understood the signal and agree to stop and hold their position.
The “look” hand signal is made by pointing the index and third fingers at your eyes and then indicating the object to be observed. A scuba instructor uses the “look at me” signal to indicate that students should watch him demonstrate an underwater skill, such as mask clearing during the open water course. “Look at me” is signaled by making the “look” signal and then gesturing toward your chest with a finger or thumb.
Divers can also enjoy showing each other aquatic life and other underwater attractions by using the “look over there” signal, made by signaling “look” and then pointing toward the animal or object.
‘Go in This Direction’
To indicate or suggest a direction of travel, scuba divers use the fingertips of a flattened hand to point out the desired direction. Using all five fingers to point out a direction of travel helps to avoid confusion with the “look” signal, which is made by pointing with a single index finger.
For the “come here” hand signal, extend a flattened hand, palm up, and bend the fingertips upward toward yourself. The “come here” signal is basically the same signal that people use in everyday conversation.
The “level off” hand signal is used to tell a diver to remain at the current depth or maintain this depth. The “level off” signal is most commonly used to communicate that divers have reached the planned maximum depth for a dive or to tell divers to hold previously designated depth for a safety or decompression stop. For the “Level Off” signal, extend a flattened hand, palm down, and slowly moving it side to side horizontally.
‘Buddy Up’ or ‘Stay Together’
A diver places two index fingers side by side to indicate “buddy up” or “stay together.” Scuba diving instructors use this hand signal to remind student divers to stay close to their diving partner. Divers also occasionally use this signal to reassign buddy teams underwater. For example, when two divers are low on air and ready to ascend, they can communicate that they will stay together and ascend using the “buddy up” hand signal.
The “safety stop” signal is made by holding the “level off” signal (a flat hand) over three raised fingers. A diver is indicating “level off” for three minutes (the minutes signified by the three fingers), which is the minimum recommended time for a safety stop.
The safety stop signal should be used on every dive to communicate within the dive team that the divers have reached the pre-determined safety stop depth and agree to maintain that depth for a minimum of three minutes.
‘Deco’ or ‘Decompression’
The “decompression” hand signal is commonly made in one of two ways—either with an extended pinkie or with an extended pinkie and thumb (similar to a “hang loose” sign). Technical divers trained in decompression diving techniques use this signal to communicate the need for a decompression stop. Recreational divers should also be familiar with this signal.
Although recreational scuba divers should never plan to make a decompression dive without proper training, this sign is useful in the unlikely event that a diver accidentally exceeds their no-decompression limit for a dive and must communicate the need for an emergency decompression stop.
‘Low on Air’
For the “low on air” signal, place a closed fist against your chest. This hand signal is not used to indicate an emergency but to communicate that a diver has reached the predetermined tank pressure reserve for the dive. Once a diver communicates that she is low on air, she and her diving partner should agree to make a slow and controlled ascent to the surface and end the dive by using the “up” signal.
‘Out of Air’
The “out of air” signal is taught to all open water course and experience course students so that they know how to react in the unlikely event of an out-of-air emergency. The chances of an out-of-air emergency when scuba diving are extremely low when proper pre-dive checks and diving procedures are observed.
To make this signal, move a flat hand across your throat in a slicing motion to indicate that the air supply is cut off. This signal requires an immediate response from the diver’s buddy, who should allow the out-of-air diver to breathe from his alternate air-source regulator while the two divers ascend together.
Most Common Scuba Hand Signals
Scuba hand signals are essential in your training as a diver because this lets you communicate underwater. For example, it lets you tell your buddy that you have been diving for long enough and want to warm up after a cold dive.
The movements for scuba hand signs are simple and you should be able to perform them at any time, even when wearing dive gloves. Some might say that they cause stiffer movement for diver hand signals but if you get one of the best selling scuba dive gloves you will not have this problem.
Table of Contents
15 Most Common Scuba Diving Hand Signals
Fortunately, the most used scuba diving hand signs are intuitive so they are easy to remember. Here are some great images from ForDivers.com to help you visualize them. Below are the basic scuba dive hand signals that you should know.
1. Okay! (underwater)
Meaning: It is okay. There is no problem. I think one of the scuba diving signals that everyone has seen somewhere.
How: Form a circle by touching the tips of your thumb and index finger. The remaining three fingers remain still.
2. Okay! (at the surface)
Meaning: It is okay. There is no problem. These scuba signals are specific to let the boat or your buddy that all is ok at the surface.
How: Raise both arms and form a loop above your head by having them meet. Alternatively, raise one arm up and touch your head. This signal is commonly used to communicate with the dive boat captain.
3. Not Okay (underwater)
Meaning: Not okay, there is a problem.
How: Lay your hand out flat with the palm facing down. Pivot from the wrist, like some people, do to describe ‘so-so’. Once your buddy understood that there is a problem, point to the problem with your index finger.
4. Not Okay (at the surface)
Meaning: Not okay, there is a problem.
How: Reach up with one arm and wave above your head. This scuba hand signal is why you should not wave to a dive boat when you do not need any assistance.
Meaning: Look at (the person signaling or something else in the vicinity). This signal has two parts; the first part is to get a divers’ attention and the second part is to indicate the subject.
How: First, point at your eyes with your index finger and middle finger. Then, indicate what the fellow diver should be looking at. Point your thumb at yourself when you want your buddy to look at you or use your index finger to point when you want your buddy to look at something else.
Meaning: Go down or descend to a lower level. It is usually posed as a question so responding with the same signal shows agreement to descend.
How: Point your thumb down with the rest of your fingers curled into a ball.
Meaning: Go up or start the ascension process. This is another question signal so copying the signal shows understanding and agreement to go up.
How: Point your thumb up with the rest of your fingers curled into a ball.
Meaning: Remain where you are or stop doing what you are doing.
How: There are two versions that mean the same thing. The first way is showing your palm facing forward and the second way is making a fist with the wrist towards the buddy.
9. Slow Down
Meaning: Swim slower or go slowly.
How: Lay your hand out flat with the palm facing downward and then move it down. Repeat if necessary.
10. Level Off
Meaning: Stay at the current depth. This usually indicates that you have reached the maximum safe depth.
How: stretch your hand out flat with the palm facing down and move it from left to right, repeatedly.
11. Safety Stop
Meaning: Going up to reach the level for the required safety stop. All scuba diving signals are of importance but when safety is involved they are a must to learn.
How: Reach out a flat hand with the palm facing down above your other hand and with the other, indicate ascend. Once at the level for the safety stop use the same signal and the number of minutes you need to stay at that depth using your fingers with the hand you were using to indicate ascend (minimum safety stop length is 3 minutes).
Meaning: That is dangerous, danger – Watch out! Obviously another of the diving signals that could save yours or your buddies life while underwater.
How: Create a fist with your hand and extend your arm so that it is straight. You can do this after pointing to whatever it is you want to warn your dive buddy about.
13. Swim in That Direction
Meaning: Swim towards the indicated direction.
How: Point your thumb in the indicated direction with the rest of your fingers curled into a ball. The direction of the fingers is the direction to move towards.
14. How Much Air Do You Have?
Meaning: Ask another person how much air they have left.
How: Lay your hand out flat with the palm facing upward, using your other hand place two fingers in the middle of your palm.
15. Out of Air
Meaning: This is an emergency situation signal in which there is no air left in the tank.
How: Place a flat hand with the palm down in front of your neck. Make a quick sideways motion by pulling your arm out to the side.
Scuba diving is more than a passion to me, it’s a part of who I am. Now, I travel and dive as much as I can, exploring the world, trying new dive gear, discovering dive destinations and reviewing them here for you. All while educating people of the threats our marine life and oceans face every day and what we can do to help defend it.