Praying Hands

Internet freaks out over alleged emoji conspiracy

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The difference between celebratory slappage and pious reflection doesn’t quite come across in the abstracted world of emoji: a schism has long divided fans of an icon that may depict either.

It all started with a light-hearted news segment from Philadelphia station 6ABC News.

So, are we looking at hands pressed together in prayer, giving off a holy radiance? Or is it a high five powerful enough to send shockwaves of friendship into the local atmosphere? We’ll probably never know, sorry—which means we’re sure to have this argument again next year.

We reached out to a few of these users in hopes of better understanding how they fell on the side they did and why the issue was important to them. This argument was fairly persuasive:

Meanwhile, the Emojipedia proved absolutely useless in resolving the issue: although “Person With Folded Hands” is “commonly used to represent praying hands in western countries” and “sorry” or “thank” you in Japanese culture, it’s also used to convey pleading, or—that’s right!—a high five. Because really, who is the Internet to tell you otherwise.

Maybe we should compromise and call it a high five with God.

Photo by C Jill Reed/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)