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article imageOp-Ed: Something funny? Use 'LOL' and you're old fashioned

By Tim Sandle     Aug 15, 2015 in Internet
London Colney - Just as the way language changes, so does social media etiquette. The once popular initialism LOL is no longer the preferred means of expressing merriment on Facebook.
Using the initial L-O-L to express "laugh out loud" on social media sites like Facebook? If so, you might be mistaken as one of the creaking generation of the first users of the Internet. This is putting to one side an even narrower tranche of people, like David Cameron, who think the initialism (it isn't really an acronym in my opinion) means "lots of love." I won't go into whether LOL stands for "laugh out loud" or "laughing out loud" for risk of being called a noob (if people remember that term of abuse for an Internet newbie?)
A U.S.-wide study, called "The Not-So-Universal Language of Laughter," has found that under 2 percent of Facebook users opt to use "LOL" to signal that they find something amusing or interesting. In preference, should words be required, 50 percent of social media users will now use "haha" instead. Even here, using words to spell out interest is in decline. The majority of users these days prefer to select an emoticon (such as the smiling yellow-ball face or a graphic that's more sophisticated.) It should be pointed out that the new survey was conducted by Facebook; nevertheless, it seems to reflect what its own site users (and there are millions of them) are doing.
The new survey was produced in response to a New Yorker article on the subject of “e-laughter.” The New Yorker article is titled "Hahaha vs. Hehehe." In the article by Sarah Larson, points out that people use emotions on social media far more often that they would if they were engaging in face-to-face conversation. For instance, every time a friend of yours posts something and you type "haha" or select a colorful cartoon character, would you have entered into a burst of manic laughter at every utterance said friend made in everyday conversation?
The point is to analyze how we use social media as a form of communication and how similar or different it is to how we conduct ourselves outside of the virtual realm.
Meanwhile LOL has not disappeared. It has been collected for posterity for it appears in the Oxford English Dictionary. Something to show your grandchildren.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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