Speaking with “GIFs”



In todays digital age, many millennials have ditched those boring old things called words and have switched to those awesome things called GIFs. For all you out there that don’t know what GIF stands for its “Graphics Interchange Format”. GIFs have actually been around for much longer than you think. According to Mashable.com, the GIF was created back in June 1987 by Steve Wilhite. Originally, GIFs were used as placeholders for when websites were under construction but have always had the element of fun associated with them.

Ever since GIFs were created, people have debated over how to pronounce “GIF”. Whenever I ask someone how to pronounce it, I always get a different answer. Some people pronounce it with a hard “g” like in “graphics,” and other times people say it like “Jif peanut butter”. So, how do you say “GIF”?


GIFs have become so popular because they allow us to show emotion through a visual lens. Words limit the ways we can express our emotions while visuals add another layer to displaying emotion. GIFs and Emojis are quite similar in that they offer that literal visual element that words cannot provide. To understand a GIF though, you have to understand the larger context of whats being displayed in the GIF. Once you understand, it becomes an emotional bond that allows you to associate the action in the GIF to your own personal thoughts and feelings.


To make it even easier for people to completely ditch words and use GIFs to speak, companies have created ways to easily access GIFs. Twitter has created its own database of GIFs and have built a GIF button right at the bottom of where you post so you don’t even have to leave the app to find different GIFs. Apple has also recently allowed third-party keyboards. Many developers have capitalized on this and have create GIF keyboards so that all you have to do is quickly switch keyboards and find a GIF and send it in a text message. It’s so easy and quick now that you don’t even have to think twice when sending a GIF.

In the future, I hope GIFs will still be around. I think they have become such a key part of culture that help people show emotion in the digital world. So with that I will leave you all with some of my favorite GIFs!




Works Cited:

All GIFs for giphy.com


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