Did you ever think about how you and your friends laugh on the internet? Is it a simple “haha” or with capitals? Do you lol, or do you hehe? It might never have crossed your mind or you might even deem it as not important, but Facebook had something else to say.
In a study called The Not-So-Universal Language of Laughter, Facebook has come to the conclusion that the “dialect” of laughter “is evolving”. This conclusion has been reached based on Facebook’s observations starting with the end of May this year.
We recommend that you Google the study if you have time because it’s a great read with very interesting content.
It seems that “haha” is an actual winner when it comes to expressions used to illustrate laughter online. Following in at number two we have emoji, but Facebook does not stop at these broad conclusions and they dive in a little deeper into the subject.
Apparently the geographic location, age and gender have a part to play in the way people express laughter online. While women and younger people prefer emoji, men prefer the good old “hehe”. New Yorkers prefer emoji while people from San Francisco or Seattle prefer the “haha”.
Most people prefer using one type of online laughter, but around 20 percent of the people will use around two. You can rest assured that if you are using two types of e-laugh you are a very special person.
Various psychological speculations can arise based on the type of “haha” people are using. In general, there are around four types of “haha” that can be identified: the simple “haha”, the longer “hahaha”, the very long “hahahahahahaha” and the long and misspelled “ahahahahhhhhhahahaha”.
The simple “haha” can be a mildly amused person who feels it necessary to express an e-laugh while the longer “hahaha” might be a casual internet user who is very amused by the situation. The very long “hahas” can usually indicate the old “roll on the floor laughing” situation also known as “rofl”.
There were also some “lol” situations identified with “rare specimens” of “lolz” or “loll”. Emoji were used in almost half of the recorded situations and it was deemed rare to see more than 5 identical emoji in the same comment.
Yet the study can be expanded worldwide to get a broader view of the evolution of e-laughs. There are certain regions in the world in which laughter is expressed as “axaxaxa” or “jejeje”, which are very different than the “hahas” and it would be interesting to learn their origins. It remains to be seen whether Facebook will further extend this interesting project.
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