Where does come from?
While officially named face with tears of joy, people commonly refer to it as the crying laughing, laugh cry, laughing tears, LOL, or simply the laughing emoji or face. Face with tears of joy was included as part of Unicode 6.0 in 2010 and added to Emoji 1.0 in 2015. It was also one of the first emoji available for iOS and OS X. Like all emoji, it was created based on a user suggestion.
The face with tears of joy emoji enjoys extensive use across diverse digital contexts and populations online, including over 1 million times on Instagram. In fact, the Oxford Dictionaries even named the face with tears of joy emoji its 2015 Word of the Year, the first-ever pictograph to win the prize. Citing the emoji’s sharp rise from the previous year, they chose face with tears of joy in part “because it was the most used emoji globally in 2015.”
In 2016, linguist Gretchen McCulloch further underscored the popularity of face with tears of joy, as used in the data of the mobile keyboard company Swiftkey. She reported that the face with tears of joy emoji was the most used emoji on its own, in multiple-emoji sequences, and in combination with other emoji. “It’s clear we love to laugh and communicate laughter digitally!” McCulloch said.
Who uses ?
Often behaving like LOL or haha, the face with tears of joy emoji conveys varying degrees of amusement. Users frequently repeat the face with tears of joy in strings as an emotional intensifier. And, the use of this emoji with tears, as opposed to other emoji depicting smiles, emphasizes, if not exaggerates, the intended sense of glee or delight.
As such embellishment suggests, the face with tears of joy emoji does not necessarily mean that its users are literally laughing to the point of tears. Rather, the emoji can help mediate tone and relationships. Writing for Scientific American in 2016, Krystal D’Costa explained: “Much in the same way the Like button helped to confirm status and connections, the tears of joy emoji can be connective.” Face with tears of joy, D’Costa continued, can show empathy, soften emotions, lighten remarks, and facilitate communication.
While the face with tears of joy emoji generally has positive intent, it, like so much of language, has a darker side. Some use the face with tears of joy emoji to mock or gloat over others’ misfortunes, as if laughing maniacally in their face.