Facebook Shows Us the Evolution of E-Laughter

No matter what language you speak, laughter is one thing that is universal. But a new Facebook study published in response to a fun New Yorker article suggests that the way we laugh online has a way of varying depending on where we live, how old we are, and what language we speak.

The Dialect of E-Laughing

E-Laughter used to be dominated by the phrase “lol”, but Facebook’s new study shows that the act of laughing out loud is being expressed in a more literal and direct way rather than simple narrating actions.

The most common way to type out a laugh now is simply typing “haha.” Emoji is the second most popular way and “hehe” follows up close after. As it turns out, people still saying “lol” are a lot less hip than they might think.

The Facebook study shows that 51.4 percent of all posts and comments containing strings of laughter are expressed through the use of “haha.” Emoji makes up 33.7 percent, “hehe” accounts for 13.1 percent, and lol has fallen all the way down to just 1.9 percent.

Geography Is a Big Factor

Geography is perhaps one of the biggest factors in determining which phrase of laughter you might use. Facebook says that people who live on the west coast prefer to use different combinations of “haha” and “hehe” when expressing laughter, but their east coast brothers and sisters prefer to use emoji’s as their preferred method of laughter. Southern states are still using “lol.”

Battle of the Sexes

Men and women also seem to enjoy phrasing their laughter in different ways. Men prefer to use words like “haha” and “hehe” when they’re communicating with people online. Women seem to enjoy using “haha” and “hehe” as well, but they also predominantly make up the majority of the people who use emojis, and they use “lol” more often than men as well.

Facebook analyzed the data from comments and posts only, that means that no private messages were read, which also means that the data is a bit skewed.

Do you agree with Facebook’s study? Let us know in the comments.


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