LOL vs. Haha: The Evolution of Digital Laughter

Genevieve Fish

Recently, my dad used the term “LOL” in a text message. It was then that I realized I hadn’t used the term myself in ages. The New Yorker has taken note of the evolution of digital laughter, from the “lol” to the “haha” to the “hee hee.” It’s become a recognized fact that “hahaha” and “lol” have graduated from colloquial speak to the vernacular of 40-somethings and above. While the younger generation erupts into “hee hees,” we’re left somewhere in the middle, playing with the building blocks of “ha.”

A recent Facebook report confirms that “haha” has, in fact, killed “lol.” Data reveals that “haha” and its variants are the most used form of graphic laughter (51.4% of online text sampled), followed not so closely by the laughter emoji (at 33.7%). “LOL” has retreated from popular use, coming in at a lowly 1.9% of the sampled text.

For the full article on the most popular building blocks of laughter, head over to The Verge and read our guide on how the kids are speaking today.

If you didn’t know “hehe” was on the radar, you might need to shop this slang dictionary.

What are your thoughts on digital laughter? Share your favorite way to laugh through text in the comments!

Explore: texting laughter

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