How Do You Laugh Online?

It's "haha" versus "hehe"—and your choice actually says a lot about you. 

Photo by Glenn Glasser

Your friend just posted the funniest cat video you’ve ever seen. What’s your automatic typed response? It turns out whether you throw out an “lol” or a “hehe” (or maybe even a “bahaha”) says more about you than you might think.

In response to an article published in The New Yorker, Facebook analyzed posts and comments in the United States during the last week of May and discovered that “e-laughing,” like any other dialect, is evolving. Translation: We’re expressing laughter online a little differently today.

These days, according to Facebook, the most common response to something funny—across all age groups—is “haha,” followed by various forms of emoji and “hehe.” The popularity of “lol” is in question though, with only 1.9 percent of posts containing that form of e-laughter. And most people prefer to stick with one type of e-laugh. Just 20 percent of people switch back and forth between two different types.

Your choice of expression depends largely on your age, gender, and geographic location: “Young people and women prefer emoji, whereas men prefer longer hehes. People in Chicago and New York prefer emoji, while Seattle and San Francisco prefer hahas,” the Facebook post explained.