A recent New Yorker essay about online laughter prompted Facebook to crunch data on how people actually express a chuckle in the ether. It's probably not a big surprise to find out that LOL is no longer the phrase of choice, but it might be surprising at just how far the old standby has fallen. In a week's worth of posts in May, just 1.9% of people who expressed laughter did so via LOL. Meanwhile, the undisputed the champion is "haha" (including variations such as "hahaha") at 51.4%, followed by the use of emoji at 33.7%, and "hehe" at 13.3%. Some other takeaways:
- 15% of people indicated laughter in at least one post or comment
- Residents of Chicago and New York prefer emoji, while those in San Francisco and Seattle like "haha"
- More men use "haha" and "hehe," while more women use emoji
So what's going on? It's not too complicated. "Only old people are using LOL these days, presumably because it was popular in the internet’s early days but is now falling out fashion as emoji becomes the universal language of youths," observes Adam Clark Estes at Gizmodo
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