The Signal

Serving the College since 1885

Sunday June 26th

Gifs are a valuable communication tool

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By Nadir Roberts
Reviews Editor

On those days when we just can’t find the right words, we have help, and they’re right at the click of a button or tap of the screen. The gif is one of the most impactful additions to technology and how we communicate.

While gif users are divided down the middle on the pronunciation of these animated clips, they are extremely helpful in communicating to people when words just aren’t enough.

Drake said it himself, “Three dots you thinking of a reaction still,” and a gif would be the perfect way to go for that reaction.

The variety and availability of gifs make it much easier to choose something that specifically fits your needs. Apps like Twitter break it down even further for you, so you don’t have to type in the name of the gif since they are separated by reaction.

Gifs make it easier to communicate with parents or other family members. I find myself trying to teach my mom how to properly use emojis more times than I would like. Getting a misplaced smirking emoji accompanied by “I made the mac n cheese” from your mother could never be worse.

What makes gifs even funnier is how they’re used on social media. The experience is much more fruitful if you know how to properly use gifs and memes when interacting online — it’s a language in itself.

In Apple’s iOS 10 update, the addition of gif search for iMessage was introduced. Although not as extensive and plentiful as the Twitter variety, it’s still a start and should be appreciated.

Thanks to Giphy, an online database and search engine that allows users to search for and share animated gif files, gifs are more accessible now than ever.

A gif, or its extended name, graphic interchange format, is an extension for an animated raster graphics file. Surprisingly, the GIF is the second most common image format used on the internet after JPEG.

Gifs provide visual aids that help those who are visual learners. They help in anything from describing a cycle or chain of some sort, a machine’s main function and more. Gifs have use in almost every way, we just haven’t appreciated them enough to realize.

The great Donald Glover even changed music and made the cover of his “Because the Internet” album a gif in which he distorts his face into a inkblot Rorschach test.

What makes gifs so cool is that you can make anything you want into a gif, even yourself. A funny video? Gif it. You trying out a new recipe? Gif it. You getting your weekend started early? Gif it.

The possibilities are endless with gifs, and they should definitely be recognized and appreciated more — a world without gifs is a world with more boring texts and ill-advised emojis.


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