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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Danni Scott

Air guitar and double thumbs up becoming extinct as Gen Z dub them 'cringe'

Trends come and go so quickly sometimes it can be hard to keep up, if you're still trying to learn how to do the Gen Z heart it might be time to give up and resign yourself to old age - or just being a millennial.

Style, mannerism, and slang are dead giveaways for someone who is on trend or falling behind - simply think about the millennial pause which is slated on TikTok.

Hand gestures are a major part of how we interact with each other and using certain ones could mark you out as uncool or worse, cringey.

Sadly for the thumbs up it's not acceptable in texts or in person anymore (Getty Images)

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Taking the top spot of hand gestures that are an absolute no-go for Gen Z is the air guitar, now resigned to parents and older relatives having too much fun at a family party. We've all looked away in shame as an uncle has got too into air guitaring the riff of a dad rock song.

A new nationwide poll of Brits aged 18 to 29 revealed that playing an imaginary guitar is the least cool hand gesture a person can make, with 38 percent of those polled claiming it was cringeworthy and old fashioned. Try the rock and roll sign instead for a throwback moment.

Coming in second was the double thumbs up, with three in 10 saying it was embarrassing and a sign that someone was no longer cool. It's already well known that it's seen as rude to send a single thumbs up over message but 19 per cent of Gen Z think the real life hand gesture belongs in the stone age.

Even more embarrassing is using the 'OK' sign with 20 per cent saying it's cringe, stick instead to a peace or a heart if you can. Divers probably get a free pass for these hand rules as it is standard to use both thumbs up and ok throughout underwater excursions - just don't start doing them on land.

The traditional shaka sign (or fake phone) is still acceptable to Gen Z (Getty Images/Westend61)

Claudia Crosse of Perspectus Global, who conducted the study, said: "It is fascinating to see which hand gestures are falling by the wayside, and which ones will make you seem uncool if you use them in front of younger Brits. However, hand gestures are constantly evolving, so it's not unfeasible to imagine that playing air guitar or doing a double thumbs up may one day come back in fashion."

Letting someone know you're ok isn't the only no-go for hand gestures, writing a fake cheque in the air to indicate you would like the bill is mortifying for almost a third of Gen Z. This could be linked to the embarrassment of troubling staff members or causing a scene, especially when out with 'Karen' family members.

Kicked to the kerb with the air guitar is pretending to be posh by sticking your pinky out when drinking tea, an instant no-no for Gen Z who champion the eat the rich mentality.

Peace remains safe as fist bumps are thrown to the wayside (Getty Images)

Fist bumps and shhing people with your finger to your lips are also deemed cringe and a clear sign that you're no longer on trend. Never fear though the traditional 'call me' sign with a fake phone is acceptable according to 85 per cent of Gen Z.

While these may seem trivial, almost 50 per cent of Brits think that hand gestures are just as important as verbal communication. Gestures do evolve, change and come back into fashion so ones that used to be very fashionable can end up making you look old fashioned and out of touch.

Dropping certain gestures could revitalise your communication skills and allow you to relate better to your peers or those younger than you with minimal effort.

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