The Danger of… Hand Gestures?

I don’t know why I was worried about finding enough topics for this month. Every day, there is a new outrage on Twitter to comment on.

Today, I learned that we’re not supposed to give a thumbs up gesture anymore.

The thing is, it’s an old gesture that has a clear purpose. It’s an affirmative, a good-to-go, a sign of approval.

It seems like some people used it sarcastically, and now it’s… bad? It’s aggressive?

We should all grieve the death of nuance and context.

When the OK hand gesture was basically overtaken by white supremacists, I was a little bit upset assholes usurped what I thought was a common gesture, and we just let them have it. Maybe there’s some subtle difference in the tilt of the hand, but as a white guy that wants nothing to do with that hate movement, I’m not going to risk it. No more OK hand gesture for me.

But thumbs up doesn’t fall into that category. If we’re going to find fault with people using it with passive aggression, maybe we shouldn’t be upset with the gesture as much as the passive aggression.

As someone else said, I’ve seen people get a little upset over ending a sentence with a period.

I really think this all circles back to context and nuance. If I’m texting with someone that has a particular style, I’ll respond appropriately to them to try to communicate effectively. I won’t necessarily change everything about the way I communicate to appease someone else, because I expect that over time, people will come to understand my style of communicating as well. You may text in all lower case with no punctuation, but I’m still going to text like I’m trying to please a grammar teacher.

This goes for the thumbs up, as well. A hand gesture as an affirmative can be effective, giving a visual queue to go along with my words.

As far as Twitter drama is concerned, this one seems pretty small, and maybe I’m just adding fuel to the fire by giving it as much attention as I have. I guess I just don’t want to give up forms of communication for reasons I have a hard time agreeing with.