Monday 23 April 2018

Hahas and hehes make social media comeback as LOL is pooh-poohed

Usage of the humble LOL has dropped alarmingly, according to a new study
Usage of the humble LOL has dropped alarmingly, according to a new study

When it comes to expressions of laughter on social media, it seems the humble acronym LOL - "laugh out loud" - is laughing no more.

Facebook examined a week's worth of comments to its social network to find out how people are laughing on the internet.

The results make sobering reading for lovers of LOL - just 1.9% of posts contained the acronym.

Instead people are resorting to emojis, the colourful smiley faces of text language, and "hehe".

But leading the way by far in the laughter stakes is the old-fashioned "haha".

Some 51.4% of comments that contained expressions of laughter used haha, followed by 33.7% employing emojis, and 12.7% using hehe.

Fewer than 2% of comments used LOL - suggesting that the acronym is no longer feeling lots of love, as Prime Minister David Cameron famously thought when he signed off text messages with it to newspaper editor Rebekah Brooks.

Both men and women were found to like their hahas and emojis, followed by hehes and then LOLs. Hahas and hehes were preferred by men, Facebook said, while emojis were dominated by women, who also marginally preferred LOL.

The research also found that emojis were used by a slightly younger audience, and that LOL use had the highest median age and remained in use longer as users got older.

Facebook gave few clues as to why LOL is losing its stranglehold over our emotions, but it seems that the traditional haha is having the last laugh.

Press Association

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