IJBOL, which stands for “I just burst out laughing”, has surpassed LOL in popularity among Generation Z this summer. As a result of social media users designating it the best acronym, the most recent chuckling online acronym has risen to the forefront of popular culture. IJBOL defines the actual reaction many people have when they chuckle. The acronym focuses on the sort of laughter that results from either astonishment or restraint. It is not surprising that the internet has adopted it due to its relatability.
Ellie, a 25-year-old bank analyst, told that she switched to IJBOL because she felt it more accurately reflected her experience, while chuckling “behind the screen” She elaborated by saying, “Usually, I’m just quiet and then I snort.” Others believe it’s time for a new acronym to supplant a number of existing ones, such as LMAO and ROFL. The 27-year-old content creator, Micheal clarified to the publication, “I don’t LMAO. That is simply not what I do.”
I associate LMAO with millennial humor, he continued. However, I associate IJBOL with the lighthearted humor of Generation Z.” Nicki Minaj was captured on a livestream laughing so hard that she fell back in her chair, and vice president Kamala Harris has become the unofficial face of IJBOL after many videos and gifs of her laughing uncontrollably went viral online.
Sebastian, a 20-year-old student, “It’s sort of like her’meme-ability’ factor.” “When IJBOL was released, people began to use her as a means to coincide the two, as she is essentially the ideal definition of IJBOL. She laughs constantly at everything.” According to Mashable, while the acronym has existed since 2009, the K-pop community gave it new life in 2021 when they adopted it to categorize their favorite idols according to their favorite internet acronyms.
IJBOL Goes Mainstream: The Viral Spread of Grinning Celebrities and Hashtag IJBOL
In recent months, however, IJBOL has migrated from niche circles and fandom forums to the broader social media landscape as users have begun to use videos and images of grinning celebrities with the hashtag IJBOL in the caption. Professor Michelle McSweeney, who studies digital hilarity at the CUNY Graduate Center, referred to niche corners of the Internet, such as the K-pop community, as “creative spaces.” As the author of OK, which investigates how technology influences language, contextualizing and analyzing internet vernacular such as IJBOL falls squarely within Professor McSweeney’s area of expertise. Professor McSweeney continued his explanation by saying, “It doesn’t surprise me at all that it began on K-pop Twitter.” Because that is also a fairly close-knit community that communicates frequently and establishes new norms.