It only took one “incident” to start questioning the impact “lol” has in online discussions. British Prime Minister David Cameron used “lol” thinking it means “lots of love”. Now you might think that when the government discovers a term like “lol”, the term is long overdue. And you might be right.
But let’s look at something more specific and scientifically proven. In a Facebook study called “The Not-So-Universal Language of Laughter”, a couple of researchers actually set out to discover how people express their laughter on the social platform.
The main source of study seems to be a “one week posts and comments session” conducted in May this year, when the researchers wanted to find out whether there is a democratic agreement about how one expresses laughter online.
Due to ethical measures, of course, no names were given. According to sociological standards, the identities of the participants should remain a secret forever, but you never know. There must have been thousands of “non-identifiable” images and posts that they had to analyze in order to come up with the result.
Now from what we know, around 15 percent of the people posted at least one e-laugh, but this is where it gets interesting. Out of these 15 percent, 51.4 percent wrote “haha”. The “haha” results contain pretty much any type of “haha” like “hahaha” or “haahhhaa”.
Anyhow, the “haha” is the winner followed by the laughter emoji with 33.7 percent and by “hehe” with 13.1 percent. “Lol” managed to score an impressively low 1.9 percent, but the researchers are trying to save its image by saying that it is still very popular in southern regions.
They also managed to measure the intensity with which people laugh on the internet. According to the study, around 50 percent of the people post one form of laughter on the internet every week. A low 15 percent did post more than 5 so-called giggles. And if you’re a psychologist it might be interesting for you to know that around 20 percent of the people used more than 1 form of laughter.
This is just a Facebook study, however, and it is only limited to the U.S. “Lol” remains quite popular among gamers, having developed other forms such as “lel” (laugh even louder?) or “trololol” which might be some kind of “troll” laughter. It is also quite popular among League of Legends players. This might be because “LoL” is the shorter version.
All in all, it is an interesting study which shows us that even laughter has some sort of “online trend”. Who knows? Maybe you can come up with some sort of laughter yourself and it becomes viral overnight.
Photo Credits nocookie.net