Being rude to waiters on a date. Calling those concerned about basic human rights 'snowflakes'. Photos with dogs - which aren't theirs! - on dating apps. What are your red flags? (Those, there, are just some of mine.) If you've been on the internet within the past week, the chances are you've probably seen a line of angry little red flag emojis on Twitter, after someone has declared something they're wary of in a potential partner. As I saw someone on Twitter say the other day, we have basically become the equivalent of your nan sending on 'cursed' chain emails.
If you need any evidence of just how many flags have been spotted on the app, Twitter reported that 1.5 million tweets went out containing the emoji. (Some have even edited the emoji to show what they consider to be a green flag.)
Now, everything from not liking a certain artist/TV show, living in Clapham to genuinely quite troubling things - like people ignoring your texts even though they spend all their time on social media, and people calling their exes 'psychos' - have been labelled as red flags. The joke has now spiralled and includes things to be hesitant of in anyone, though it's typically associated with dating. (Because red flags are typically associated with dangerous conditions on the beach, it just means: do not proceed.)
Predictably, brands have also jumped on the trend, as companies from Ryanair to Crocs have listed their red flags - 'clapping when the plane lands' and 'I'm not a Crocs person') - which, sadly, means nothing on the internet is sacred when jokes turn into corporations being after your money. Oh, well - the next meme to take over our timelines and TikToks will surely be here soon.
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