We use emojis every single day, but you probably routinely only use a handful of popular ones that include a few of your favorite smiley faces. Of course there are expectations to this, like when a holiday, event, or specific scenario calls for a precise character to be thrown into the mix.
Regardless of how often we use certain emojis, we can't deny that there are some that we still don't know the exact meaning of. Who would've known that that swirl of icing emoji is really a fish cake?
But then again there are some emojis that we obviously know the true meaning of. Or do we really?
Move over lemon emoji, because there is a new emoji star rising to fame on Twitter: the monkey. In fact the monkey emoji has actually started a full-on Twitter debate regarding its true interpretation.
While it may seem obvious that a monkey is a monkey, we aren't talking about the little guy with the tail that is sitting to the side with his head facing us. Instead, we are focusing on not one, but three monkey emojis that show only their faces. The first one in this series has its hands over its eyes, the second has hands over its mouth and the third has hands over its ears.
You might have used at least one of these emojis in a conversation when someone is giving you TMI or when someone sent you a certain kind of image without warning, but consider what these emojis may mean when used together. Take it one step further, and then ask yourself "Is this one monkey showing three different emotions or three separate monkeys entirely?"
This is exactly what comedian @jonnysun was wondering, and posed the question on Twitter in a poll.
— jomny sun (@jonnysun) May 9, 2016
Like many on Twitter, you are probably thinking that these emojis represent the saying, "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil." One user went so far as to tweet an image of the actual Wikipedia page about the story of these three wise monkeys. According to the story, each monkey has its own name: Mizaru, Kikazaru and Iwazaru, meaning they are separate monkeys. The debate has been getting so much attention that even Donald Trump has weighed in, and he is also on the side that argues there are three different monkeys.
@jonnysun IS THIS REALLY WHO YOU WANT TO AGREE WITH PEOPLE??? pic.twitter.com/vekqGcn1s4 — The Monkey Emoji (@onlymonkeyemoji) May 10, 2016
But before you change your stance so you are not on the same side as Trump, consider the fact that even Unicode supports this theory. Unicode has three separate codes for each of the monkeys that are listed because they are all different. Before the code are the monkeys' names, the same names that are given in the proverbial principle.
But not everyone agrees that these are three monkeys. Surprisingly, after more than 67,000 votes the poll is still 50/50.
— mch.ael (@nerdffreak) May 10, 2016
On the other side of the debate are users who firmly believe that it's the same damn monkey. Some argue that just like the cat faces that are happy crying and have heart-shaped eyes, it is just one monkey. Let us also not forget that there is a fourth monkey - one that shows only the face - that is not included in the trio.
@jonnysun i use multiple face emojis to express when i (one person) am feeling a combo of ways. hence 1 monkey making 3 faces — Elusive Chanteuse (@ChristinaACook) May 10, 2016
There is even a new Twitter account @onlymonkeyemoji that states he is just one monkey in different poses.
This debate is tearing Twitter up, with users revealing they are fighting with their mothers over this, losing sleep and feeling conflicted about their vote. It has also become the topic in many group chats, and has been described as "what a millennial existential crisis looks like." This proves that there is no greater Twitter debate than the monkey debate.
This seems to be the only thing the Twitterverse is thinking and talking about as of late, and the debate will surely continue for five more days until the poll ends and the final result is revealed.