We live in a sad, sad, sad, SAD world. But the good news is that a world like ours is hardly categorical! There’s a solid sievable amount of joy, peace, beauty, happiness, and well, fixed, mended, and thriving hearts too. Though there’s optimism and opportunity in the world, sadness seems to be our oldest and dearest friend, because, for some strange reason, it seems to hold the truth for the majority of us. It seems to be a consequence we all dread. A heartbreak we try to recover from even before we’ve felt it. Sadness, to most of us, is comfort. Certainty.
Anyone we come across in the entire world would undoubtedly have a sad story. Each of us knows what sadness means, what heartbreak feels like, and what it can do to a person. We’re all vulnerable because we’re only human. Being human doesn’t mean we loathe all the time, of course, but it means we feel. And sadness seems to be the emotion that hits the hardest and hence, stays the longest. Albeit all this is largely true in real life, there’s an opaque “sad culture” we’ve built all around us, online. Beyond the filters of sadness, there’s a deep need to fit into the heartbreak culture.
Read on to know everything about the 💔 broken heart emoji, if it really is as superficial as we’ve made it to seem, how it is used online, what it means when someone sends this emoji and how you can use it correctly.
Meaning of 💔
The 💔 Broken Heart emoji suggests a heartbreak, as the name and emoji illustrate. Though morbid, this emoji does an exceptional job at conveying strong emotion. It signifies heartbreak resulting from disappointment, regret, grief, separation, hurt, anger, and other emotions and sources of sadness.
💔 is highly expressive, powerful, and agonizing, but at times, it is used frivolously, which is allowed and acceptable due to social media’s casual nature. The broken heart emoji is a symbol of both easy and tough heartbreaks and can be used to communicate the same.
Is 💔 an Exaggeration?
Many of us have used the word ‘heartbreak’ in different scenarios. We’ve done our best at explaining the condition of being broken, heartbroken, or at the brink of breaking our hearts. We’ve listened to songs, watched movies, read books, and even composed our own quotes, captions, text messages; poetry in the way we like it about a broken or breaking heart. But we’re curious about something. Credibility.
Are the phrase and emotion embedded in physiological truth or is it something we picked up from thin air? Do our hearts actually break from distress or is it all in our head? In short, the answer is both yes and no.
Yes, we can have a broken heart and NO it’s not all in our head. In fact, it’s a cycle. It flows from the body to the brain and back to the body. Here’s how. When we describe a state of mind, body, and/or soul with the word ‘heartbreak’, there’s a real layer of torment garbing either of those parts. During this tough time, the brain releases stress hormones. The more misery, the more stress hormones. These hormones impact the functioning of the body and too much release can adversely affect the heart.
Under such emotionally intense circumstances, the heart can break – vital parts of the heart such as tissues can tear or have other kinds of damage. The heart’s rhythm too can take a toll and cause bodily repercussions like shortened breathing, lowered blood pressure, and an overall weak heart. And when the heart itself is weak, the whole body becomes susceptible. Immunity drops, the body is vulnerable to illness, fatigue, and physical pain. This pain, however, does not have physical grounds. Emotional pain triggers parts of the brain that are responsible for physical pain, and hence, sadness can make the person physically achy.
Heartbreak is a real thing. It’s as devastating as it gets. A stressed heart is the source of a brooding body and a hopeless life. Sorrow is that powerful. We grieve the things we’re attached to and we grieve because there’s no way to live without the attachment that can cause heartbreak. It’s a cycle and that’s just how it is to the majority of us.
Although despair is part of most of our lives and it manifests in the most apparent of ways, social media has turned this emotional rollercoaster around. Sadness and depression have become an active part of education and entertainment. It’s seen, recognized, and sadly, trivialized too. So much so that a painful image as 💔 is used in the most insignificant ways. Presenting, the sad culture.
The Sad Culture – #relatable
We cringe at the sight of the heading, but things are that way online. Sadness, depression, mental illness has become a “trend” on social media. In the process of being progressive and positively addressing things that are otherwise overlooked, we have glamourized sadness to the extent that it can tick someone off to see only happiness online – to not see, participate in, or advocate sadness in any way is strange. Sadness is more drawing than happiness. And the catch? It’s a cycle here as well.
Social media is one such platform that helps facilitate and spread quick awareness about different things. From commerce to mental health, there’s plenty of educative and corroborative information online. Sensitive content is gradually sensitized amongst consumers, and viewers/readers are eventually alert and woke about stigma. However, social media, like the name says, is a vastly public platform – which means, difference.
Different kinds of people, different values, beliefs, notions, a lot of differences coming together in a place like social media would expect a difference in opinion as well. There are literate social media pages on themes like sadness, mental illness, and heartbreak, and then there are the ones that romanticize it. Here, adversity is showcased with so much glamor that users would want to be sad, depressed, and heartbroken because it’s all made to seem fascinating and drawing. Attractive, even.
Issues aren’t charming, anyone with it/them would tell, and when they’re made to be or seem that way, they can be alluring to the ones who have no idea. Heartbreak and misery are idealized and made attractive that people with no problems/issues, would now desire them. With all the ‘relatable’ content going around, it feels alien to not be able to relate to them. There’s the fear of missing out on feeling crappy. Truth is, sadness, heartbreak, and mental illness feel horrible. No one chooses to have them. It happens, and sad enough all of us have encountered some sadness.
We mention this now and before – sadness is unifying. But, that’s genuine sadness. Not the emotion we’re forcing ourselves to feel without valid reasons. That’s a social media trend. Unrealistically portraying real issues and having people buy them is tragic and horrifying. A delicate and existent emotion as sadness and heartbreak is minimized with humor, ridicule, and “relatability”. Is this depressing picture relatable?? Is this anxiety-provoking enough?? OMG #relatable AF. Relating to things is different from click-baiting the relatability – and that’s the problem.
The Good Side
Not everything’s entirely bad and critical, so is the broken heart and its emoji. Although social media has created an unreal and exalted image of sadness and heartbreak, it has also evoked some relief and thus created a safe and supported space for people who are having a hard time.
Setting aside the part where sadness and heartbreak are desired qualities, people living with it find some kind of comfort and hope especially in a hopeless situation. There’s genuine relatability and with that, some amount of emotional alleviation, and mental solace. It’s the I’m not alone consolation. When we find it, we feel a little better if not a lot, and that’s the only constructive side to the expansive “relatable content” or “relatable memes” online on sadness, mental illness, and heartbreak. However, the glamorization of either does no good in this case and in any case, tbh.
Significance of 💔
The general interpretation of the 💔 broken heart emoji is loss, hurt, pain, grief, devastation, and plain agony. It is applied many times to communicate this set of emotional responses and heightened emotional states, alongside trivial usage.
💔 is made to accompany any context that’s bound to hurt so much that it can break one’s heart. However, that is a subjective prediction. The threshold for one’s pain tolerance comically varies when it comes to the broken heart emoji. While 💔 is used in authentic frameworks it is also superficially tapped into conversations – to show one’s disappointment, hurt, regret, pain towards relatively unimportant and unimpactful things.
Here are a couple of examples:
- Hey. I won’t be able to make it to the party tonight..Sorry, mate
Dude. You serious?? Dang, man 💔
- I didn’t get to go out with them 💔
- She said the cake tasted too sweet 💔
As you can see, each scenario is pretty negligible and not a big deal. Literally speaking, it’s hardly heartbreaking. But that doesn’t mean this emoji is blasphemous in such contexts! It is applicable. If you’re the kind to be voluntarily dramatic, then this emoji is just perfect. 💔 is also great to get on people’s nerves, especially if you hardly know the person.
What it Means When Someone Sends 💔
A conclusive reason why someone would send this emoji is heartbreak – it’s in the emoji and the name, after all. But, as discussed multiple times before, the intensity of the emotion behind this emoji can vary substantially. Also, this variance is subject to ambiguity depending on the sender. So, here are a few sets of senders and our interpretation of what they could possibly mean when they send 💔.
When a Stranger Sends 💔
Amid the moral dilemma of using 💔 on virtual platforms, there’s one moral ground – familiarity. While using this emoji there is clear familiarity backing that usage (except in the comments section and in group chats – exceptionally large group chats where most of the participants are strangers). You would know the person with any level of closeness when you use this emoji – and when that’s the case, a stranger sending 💔 can be quite strange indeed. A random heartbreak in your DM (direct message) is a symbol to either ponder or completely ignore. Nonetheless, there are a few probable reasons behind this randomness.
The 💔 emoji is either the stranger’s strange way of grabbing attention. It’s probably their cringe way of starting a conversation, which can anticipatingly be cringe too. The stranger may send this emoji and continue the chat with a stomach-wrenching pick-up line. OR, they’re responding to something you shared (if yours is a public account) and expressing their pain or distress caused by that particular post.
But, if the stranger sends 💔 after initiating the conversation and during the chat, then it’s possibly their shot at getting close to you in an uncomfortably short time. They may be seeking a romantic connection and are forcing it. They’re probably impatient and want to know you instantly and are hence creating the impression of letting down their guard a little too soon and are hoping they receive the same response.
When an Acquaintance Sends 💔
First of all, this is supposed to be a rare case scenario. An acquaintance aka someone who’s emotionally super distant, would not usually send this emoji. But, exceptions apply! When someone on the professional or familial orbit sends 💔, it could mean that they’re heartbroken over something you said or did. This is a sign they’re starting to view things subjectively and are getting comfortable with expressing personal views – with the conscious purpose of getting closer to you.
Strictly speaking, 💔 in a formal conversation is an uncomfortable sight. depending on your acquaintanceship. If you wish things to stay formal and within healthy boundaries then, this emoji is a hint to be cautious.
When a Date Sends 💔
If you’re in two minds of your date/potential date’s interest, then 💔 can work in favor of clearing things up a little. When a date uses this emoji, it can mean a few things – they’re starting to open up emotionally, they’re comfortable in emotionally expressing themselves, or they’re being annoying and stuffing superficial heartbreak and the impression of being hurt (even though they’re not) down your throat. Two rights and a wrong.
Based on the ‘vibe’, you get to decide your response. This emoji from a date could also suggest emotional over-dependence and narcissism if the context revolved around you and how you couldn’t make the time for them. Nobody’s heart breaks by that. If they’re really interested you’ll feel it.
When a Friend Sends 💔
We spare each emoji of our analysis when it comes to best friends, close and closest family members, significant others, and partners – because here, you know best. But the label of being just ‘friends’ is open to criticism, because conversations with this group of people are ambiguous at their best. Anything can happen!
So, when a friend (someone you know informally but not enough to allow them into your personal space) sends 💔, it’s a signal that they want to get closer and hopefully progress from being “just friends” to something more. But, we all know that that’s not how it works. An emoji cannot drastically turn things around. So, 💔 could be their way of starting that journey.
Another explanation is that they’re counting you as a close and trustable friend though one-sided – this, in turn, can be a cue into their assumption of your reciprocation of the same closeness. Nonetheless, they’re slowly but steadily revealing your position as a good friend in their life.
How to Use 💔 Correctly
Before digging into the specifics of the right way to apply the 💔 broken heart emoji, it’s important to note the subjectivity of the emoji. It’s a personal emoji. Needless to say, a sensitive and deeply meaningful one, so prior emotional closeness is recommended while using this emoji.
Even while inserting 💔 in general captions, there ought to be some sort of emotional resonance backing the post. What we mean is, you ought to be individually and emotionally connected to someone or something while using this emoji. Otherwise, the immensity of this emoji’s significance would again be trivialized.
The right way of using 💔 is while communicating authentic pain. There should be a valuable amount of hurt, agony, heartbreak, sadness, grief, sorrow, ache in the backdrop while using this emoji. Here are a couple of instances where you could use this emoji and not be judged for it by us.
- If you genuinely feel hurt about the post you’re sharing, then, use 💔.
- If someone’s words or actions online or offline really pained you, use 💔 while telling them about it or confiding about the same in someone else.
- If you’re really sorry about something and if you’re apologizing for it, then too, you can use 💔 to show how upsetting the mistake/blunder is.
- 💔 would fit conversations about separation in the form of a divorce, a breakup, family issues, etc.
- 💔 can be a great way to show that you’re truly missing someone or something about them.
- Use 💔 to show that you’re saddened by something. This goes for posting or reposting, texting, tweeting, about something saddening as well.
- 💔 can be used in contexts of death and mourning. However, it would not be appropriate to respond with this emoji to a first-hand text message about the death of a close someone or someone’s close someone.
When NOT to Use 💔
We repeatedly mentioned the existent shallow nature and usage of 💔, and how it is applied insignificantly. This is the casual and thoughtless side of every emoji, fuelled by animation that smoothes out the emoji’s horrors when transported to reality. This casual usage needs no emotional authenticity. However, both authentic and inauthentic expressions are allowed for every emoji, because it’s virtual communication. But there are some contexts where certain emojis would be a terrible idea. So, here are some situations that just don’t call for the 💔 broken heart emoji –
- When you’re responding to news about death from close and known people.
- While showing someone that you’re disappointed about/in something trivial – this is an exaggeration. Please refrain.
- When you’re sharing first-hand news about death.
- While responding to someone’s sad story or misfortune – especially when they aren’t using any emojis in the conversation.
- 💔 is NOT an empathetic emoji – so please do not use it as such.
Heartbreak is the main theme of the current emoji, and sadness is one of the strongest emotions that precede a broken heart. However, heartbreak is not always the immediate result of sadness. There are stages to it – which may or may not conclude in an explosive situation. Here are the top four sad emojis that can end up in an eventual heartbreak, rise above it, or dodge and bear the pain without breaking one’s heart.
This is the only emoji that rises above the damage. A heart that’s mending is pleasing – both to experience and witness it. It’s a reassuring sight. There’s hope in this emoji as opposed to the focus of this guide.
The ❤️🩹 mending heart emoji signifies healing, overcoming, and recovering from whatever broke the heart in the first place. But, we’re not sure if a band-aid would do the trick! Overall, ❤️🩹 is a positive and empowering emoji, one that talks of emotional strength and determination.
A loud cry, in real life, is a terrifying sound. It is suggestive of a sudden and shocking event, which is mostly death. To loudly cry in real life, is to uncontrollably express grief and unanticipated loss. But, 😭 imparts the exact opposite of what it symbolizes in reality. Here, the loudly crying face is an exaggeration, not to forget, a dramatic response to sorrow. Nevertheless, this is a sad emoji and an intensified response to the same.
Disappointment is the seed of grief – it can be the start of a complete showdown or it can be a sad emotion by itself. It can be both dark and laughable at the same time, and this emoji covers both.
Albeit the external expression of this emoji is not as profound as the previous emoji and 💔, it does qualify as a sad emoji. 😞 is an efficient and non-dramatic sad emoji, thus works the best in any context.
A frown is the initial face of a sad phase and the aftermath of a composed circumstance. The frown is also used as a “cute” face to get things done or not to. It’s the puppy face without the 🥺 eyes. The downward curve on ☹️ is hardly taken seriously and is generally a superficially sad emoji. But, as always, inconsistency prevails, and ☹️ could be a genuine sad emoji depending on the sender’s preferences. Other frowns include – 🙍♂️ Man Frowning Emoji, 🙍♀️ Woman Frowning Emoji, 🙍 Person Frowning Emoji
The 💔 broken heart emoji is the epitome of heartache. It depicts intense pain and suffering in the best and effective way possible. This emoji symbolizes separation and the emotional consequences of distance, loss, betrayal, disappointment, and remorse.
Amid the emotional enormity of this emoji, it is also applied in trivializing conversations to convey emotion in the slightest and negligible manner. This emoji is used in response to immediate disadvantages, and while sharing the same. All in all, 💔 is a heartfelt emoji that accommodates both light and heavy-hearted contexts of sadness and heartbreak.