Facebook Can Determine How Old You Are Based JUST On How You Laugh

Photo: WeHeartIt

LOL vs. HAHA. Apparently, there's a big difference.

Inspired by an article in The New Yorker, Facebook did a study on the evolution of e-laughing. I guess they had some time on their hands, since you can only mess up the layout of people's pages so often. (I'm still not used to the timeline, and I'm definitely not interested in what I was posting a year ago.)

Facebook analyzed de-identified posts and comments posted on Facebook in the last week of May with at least one string of characters matching laughter, such as expressions including haha, hehe, emojis, and LOL. 

They didn't look at direct messages through messenger, and focused on English laughter and emojis. 

Apparently, it's pretty common to laugh online.

15 percent of the people who posted or commented that week included one e-laugh, written as LOL, haha, hehe, and emojis. They then took the 15 percent and broke it down even further, finding that 46 percent of people posted just a single laugh during the week, while 85 percent posted less than five laughs per week.

What was the most popular e-laugh? Haha, followed by various emojis and hehe.

Age, gender and geographic location influence what type of laugh people use and length of laugh. Young people and women prefer emojis, whereas men prefer longer hehes (see, size does matter). People in major cities such as Chicago and New York prefer emojis, while Seattle and San Francisco prefer hahas.

Facebook researchers split the laughers into four groups: people who used haha, people who used LOL, people who used hehe, and the emoji people. Haha was the most popular with 51.4 percent of the group, followed by the emoji users with 33.7 percent, and in third place the hehe folks with 13.1 percent. Lastly, at a low 1.9 percent were the LOL users. 

LOL, oh how you've fallen.

If you weren't already striking LOL from your usage, Facebook research found that younger Facebook users were more likely to use emojis, while LOLs were used by the older generation.

So, unless you want to look like you're a thousand-and-one years old, I suggest forgetting you ever laughed out loud (LOL), laughed your ass off (LMAO), or rolled on the floor laughing (ROFL).

Now that's funny. Haha.