As a longtime user of social media, I've noticed a peculiar trend emerging recently.
Friends, family, and connections have started posting the number 5 as a standalone update on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
At first, I dismissed it as some kind of inside joke I wasn't privy too.
However, as more people from diverse areas of my life began posting the number 5, my curiosity was piqued.
What could this cryptic symbol mean and why were so many people posting it? I decided to do some investigative work to uncover the meaning behind this mysterious number showing up on social media.
What I found was an emerging trend with an inspiring message of support and solidarity behind it.
The Origins of 5 as Slang on Social Media
As a longtime user of social media, I've noticed the frequent use of the number 5 in posts and comments.
At first, I didn't understand the meaning or origin of this trend, so I decided to investigate further.
The Rise of "5" as Slang
Around 2015, the number 5 began appearing on social media as a shorthand way to convey agreement or signal that something was exciting or amazing.
The earliest references seem to come from Black Twitter, where users started employing "5" as an alternative to "preach" or "amen." From there, the usage spread to Instagram, Facebook, and other platforms.
Some point to the popularity of the high-five, a celebratory hand gesture where two people slap palms, as a possible inspiration.
The number 5 resembles an upraised hand, so it may have been used as an early emoji to represent the high-five before the official 🖐 emoji was released.
Whatever the exact origin, "5" caught on as hip slang for enthusiasm and approval.
How "5" Is Used Today
Today, "5" is commonly used on social media to:
Express strong agreement or approval of a statement
Show excitement for something (like an upcoming event)
Indicate that something is exceptionally cool, awesome or amazing
Offer praise, support or validation
For example, you might reply "5" to a friend's Instagram selfie to convey that they look great.
Or comment "5" on a Facebook event invite to signal you'll definitely be attending.
At its core, "5" is used to spread positivity and good vibes on social media.
While the meaning of popular slang is constantly evolving, "5" endures as a way for people to connect through mutual understanding and shared digital experiences.
I have to admit, it's grown on me!
What Does 5 Mean on Instagram and TikTok?
As social media platforms have evolved, users have developed their own unique way of communicating through images, videos, and other media.
One mysterious symbol that has become popular is the number 5.
On Instagram and TikTok, the 5 emoji is used to signify different meanings, depending on the context.
What Does 5 Mean on Instagram?
On Instagram, the 5 emoji is commonly used to show appreciation for a photo or indicate that you like the post.
Some users may comment 5️⃣5️⃣5️⃣5️⃣5️⃣ to express that they love or strongly like the image or video.
The 5 is also used on Instagram to signify high five, to give someone a virtual high five to show support or excitement for their post.
What Does 5 Mean on TikTok?
The 5 emoji is used differently on TikTok.
On this popular short-form video platform, the 5 is typically used to indicate a song, sound or effect used in a TikTok video that the viewer also recognizes and likes.
Commenting the 5 emoji, especially repeatedly, is a way for users to connect over a mutual interest in a particular TikTok trend, audio clip or meme.
The 5 may also be used more generally on TikTok to show appreciation for a video, similar to liking a post on Instagram.
As with any symbol, the meaning of the 5 emoji depends on the context and platform.
While its significance may evolve over time, the 5 currently represents positivity, support, and community on leading social networks.
Understanding the subtle meanings behind these digital symbols can help bring users together through shared experiences.
Using 5 as Slang on Twitter
As a frequent user of Twitter, I have noticed the increasing use of the number 5 in posts and tweets.
At first, I was perplexed by this trend, unsure of its meaning or significance.
Upon further investigation, I have found that 5 is used as slang on Twitter and other social media platforms to signify approval or agreement.
When used in a reply to a tweet, 5 signifies that the user agrees with or approves of the content or opinion expressed.
It is used similarly to phrases like “This.” or “Agreed.” By simply posting the number 5, the user is able to convey their positive view of the original tweet in an abbreviated manner.
Used for Emphasis
Some users will repeat the number 5 multiple times, e.g.
“55555,” to emphasize the level of their approval or to convey excitement about the topic.
The more 5s posted, the stronger the sentiment.
This use of repetition is common in online slang and conveys meaning through quantity.
Trends on social media often spread virally, with users adopting a new slang term or usage after seeing it frequently.
The use of 5 as a shorthand for conveying approval and agreement appears to have spread in this organic, viral manner.
As more users adopt the convention, its popularity and spread increase in a type of feedback loop.
While cryptic to outsiders, the use of 5 as slang on Twitter and other platforms allows frequent users a quick way to show their support for shared ideas, interests or opinions.
The meaning behind this mysterious symbol has become quite clear - it's an abbreviated thumbs up in the fast-paced world of social media.
Though its exact origins remain unknown, 5 has certainly found its place in the ever-evolving language of the digital age.
The 5 Emoji on Facebook Messenger and What It Signals
The number 5 is commonly used on social media platforms like Facebook Messenger to convey a sense of excitement or enthusiasm.
When I see a friend message me “5!” or a string of 5 emoji in a row, it signals they want to share some good news or are feeling particularly enthusiastic.
The Origins of 5 as an Expression of Excitement
The use of 5 as a shorthand for excitement originated from high-fiving, the physical gesture of slapping hands to celebrate a victory or express congratulations.
High-fiving became popular in the 1970s and transitioned to text messaging and online communication in the early 2000s.
Sending a 5 is the digital version of giving someone a high five to share in their enthusiasm or good cheer.
Some popular ways people express excitement using the number 5:
five emoji in a row
When People Use 5 to Signal Positivity
I often see friends use 5 when:
Sharing news of a new relationship, job, or other milestone.
Celebrating the completion of a long or difficult task like finishing a work project or home renovation.
Expressing enthusiasm for an upcoming fun event, trip or shared experience.
Cheering on sports teams or players during a competitive match.
The 5 emoji allows us to digitally high-five our friends and share in experiences that bring them joy and positivity.
While just a small gesture, sending a quick “5!” or a string of five emoji helps strengthen our social connections and lets our friends know we support them.
Other Interpretations of 5
Some people also use 5 to represent the number of fingers on a hand, to signify “hands up” or “put your hands together.”
In some contexts, 5 is used as a shorthand for the word “high” to discuss the effects of marijuana or other recreational drugs.
However, in most mainstream social media communications, 5 is used as a digital high five to spread enthusiasm and good cheer.
How Teens Use "5" as Code on Snapchat and Other Platforms
As an educator, it’s important to understand how students are using technology and social media to communicate with one another.
In recent years, I’ve noticed the number “5” being used as a code amongst teens on platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, and TikTok.
The meaning behind the 5 is not always straightforward and can represent different concepts depending on context.
How Teens Use "5" on Snapchat
On Snapchat, the number 5 is used by teens to signify that a message has been screenshotted.
When a user takes a screenshot of a photo or message on Snapchat, the app notifies the sender that a screenshot was captured.
Teens will often reply with just the number 5 to indicate they saw the notification.
Some use it as a playful way to tease the other person for screenshotting the content.
For others, it serves as a warning that the screenshot may be shared further.
The 5 is also employed on Snapchat as slang to convey that something is “crazy” or extreme in some way.
For example, a teen may caption a wild selfie with “this party is 5” to signify that it’s out of control or insane.
They may also use 5 to describe a dramatic story by messaging a friend “the details on what happened yesterday are 5”.
In this context, 5 is being used as an intensifier to hype up or exaggerate something.
How "5" is Used on Other Platforms
On Instagram, TikTok and text messaging, 5 is similarly used as slang to signify something is extreme, next level or chaotic in some way.
Teens will comment “this is 5” on a friend’s over-the-top selfie or video, for example.
They may also use 5 when recounting a crazy experience to express that a story is wild or “a lot”.
When analyzing how your students are using technology to communicate, it’s important to consider how concepts like “5” take on new meanings to represent popular slang terms and emoticons.
The meanings of these terms often change rapidly, so staying up-to-date with the latest teen digital shorthand and slang is key.
In the end, the number 5 on social media has taken on a life of its own.
Though originally signaling a ranking or rating, it has evolved into a form of punctuation to convey enthusiasm or solidarity.
The meaning is often ambiguous but that seems to add to its appeal.
There is something compelling about a trend that emerges organically from human interactions and relationships.
However ephemeral, participating in cultural moments like this, however small they may be, helps foster connections between people and gives us a sense of shared experience.
So the next time you see that lone 5 in the comments, know that it signifies more than just a number - it is a digital gesture of goodwill.