Have you ever been cut off in traffic? Or been stuck behind an incompetent driver during traffic hour? Gen Z has discovered a “triggering” hand gesture that can be more upsetting than being yelled at.
Brenna Sharp n is a 31-year-old zip line instructor from Hawaii who has discovered a more effective and brutal hand gesture than the middle finger.
In an interview with the New York Post, Brenna explained she had begun giving her fellow drivers a thumbs down to express her road rage in order to set a better example for her three-year-old daughter, She then discovered it was more powerful than she first initially thought.
She said: “The second you receive a ‘thumbs-down’ in person, it’s like they just pushed your personal ‘dislike’ button. It can be triggering.”
Breanna described why the gesture was so impactful.” She explained it is a “wake-up call” and added: “Like, ‘Oh gosh, I guess I made a mistake there. They’re really disappointed [in me].’”
Younger generations are now stating that giving someone a “thumbs down” can be a more hurtful way to show disapproval. On TikTok, the hashtag ‘#ThumbsDown” has more than 16 million views, and even Gen Z celebrities are talking about its hurtful impact.
Dixie D’Amelio is a 21-year-old singer and social media star who explained in her reality television series the D’Amelio Family on Apple TV that the “best thing to do when someone messes up is give a thumbs down.”
She said: “Someone did that to me and I started crying because that was worse than getting flipped off.”
On TikTok, 26-year-old Paige posted about the time she was reprimanded for driving too slowly in Colorado and was given a thumbs down.
In the humorous video, Paige said: “One time when we were in Colorado, there was an elk crossing sign so we slowed down to the recommended speed. Then somebody from Colorado went around us, rolled their window down, stuck their arm all the way out and gave us a thumb down.”
Paige added: “I think about that interaction every single day. Flipping people off when you’re driving is dead, give them a thumbs down they will not forget you.”
In Paige’s video comment section, more people explained what why the thumbs down was more cutting than a rude hand gesture. One popular comment said: [It’s] the equivalent to ‘I’m not mad, just disappointed in you.’”
Another user commented: “My partner says he likes to do the thumbs down because it impacts the psyche way more, [because] anger is easier to deal with than disappointment. They’ll think about the thumbs down for a very long time.”
Other commentators wrote about their own experience on giving a thumbs down on the road. They wrote: “We gave a guy a thumbs down once and started a whole road rage thing. It really does hurt more.”
However, other Gen Z users had another hand sign they used if they wished to really anger their fellow drivers. One comment said: “I throw out a peace sign and it makes the right people mad” and somebody also wrote: “The peace sign p***es people off too.”