Remember the days when LOL was used so often it was practically dictionary-worthy? Well, those days are well and truly gone. According to a new Facebook study published last week, only 1.9% of the social network’s users now use LOL as a term to show that they are laughing or that they find something funny. Instead, the survey results showed that 51.4% of Facebookers use the normal term ‘haha’, whilst 33.7% use the infamous laughing face emoji and 13.1% use ‘hehe’. Interesting, right?
To go one step further, the study suggests that the use of different laughing phrases corresponds with where people live, how old they are and their gender. Without going into too much detail (and boring you to death), the most compelling thing we took from the study is that the laughing face emoji was used most commonly among young people, whilst LOL was only used by ‘older’ people (the median age being just over 30). Meanwhile, only a slight difference was found between preferences according to location and gender.
As for other forms of social media and communication (including Twitter, Instagram and texting), studies concerning the use of LOL are yet to have been undertaken, although we reckon it is still in the running as one of the more popular acronyms. That said, there’s no denying that how you choose to show virtual laughing across any platform is reflective of certain demographics. Think about it – how many Grannies and Grandads own an iPhone, let alone know how to use emojis?
Of course, we shouldn’t forget that the study’s findings are not representative of the general population and should be taken with a pinch of salt. What do you think? Could this be the end of LOL as we know it?
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By Bridie Wilkins