The way you laugh online says more about you than just how hard you’re virtually laughing. Whether you prefer to use “lol,” “haha,” “hehe,” or an emoji may be indicative of your age and what part of the country you live in.
In a recently published Facebook Research blog post, Facebook employees Udi Weinsberg, Lada Adamic, and Mike Develin revealed the results of a study on “lol” use on the social network. Conducted the last week of May, the study showed that 15% of Facebook posts included laughter in some form, and “haha” was the most popular, at 51.4%. Meanwhile, 33.7% of laughter-containing posts used emoji, and 13.1% had “hehe.” Only 1.9% used “lol” .
The popularity of each virtual form of laughter varies depending on what part of the country you’re in. Emoji laughter is most popular in the eastern half of the U.S., while west coasters and southwesterners cling to their “hehe”s and “lol”s.
As for how men and women express online laughter differently, women tend to use emoji and “lol” more often, while men more often go with “haha” and “hehe” .The act of laughing out loud, however, counted only 1.9 percent in one week, highlighting the slow death of an Web-born phrase. The term, however, remains popular in Alaska, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland, and Texas, according to Facebook’s data.