The Gift of GIFs
It’s evident communication has changed throughout history. Starting from pictures in caves to oral words to non-verbal signals and even a full on language with just hands. The internet made the world smaller allowing people from all over to communicate with each other instantly. Yet, none of that compares to the greatest form of communication, Graphics Interchange Format, GIF for short.
Pronounced with a hard G, GIFs have revolutionized communication by combining pop culture, psychology and humor AND placing it into the hands of the masses. For those that don’t know what GIFs are, how’s it living under a rock?
Seconds-long moving pictures of a recorded media can communicate better than any word or words in the dictionary with more accuracy in expressing the vast spectrum of human emotion. Such communication is one of the closest things the human species has that’s so far advanced it’s almost alien. Finding the perfect GIF as a response can help release endorphins into your system making you feel happy, therefore the usage of GIFs in everyday digital communication should be encouraged.
Finding GIFs online can be fun. It can also be a little frustrating, like having a specific word at the tip of your tongue and not being able to figure it out. Fandoms use GIFs from their favorite TV shows or films; sometimes celebrities in candid interviews give us the exact facial expressions we need others to see to understand what we mean.
Open your internet browser and go to a search engine website. I use Google because they own the internet. Search a word or phrase, choose Images and then click the GIF option for filtering results.
Enjoy scrolling through the moving pictures. Save the GIF that best accurately illustrates your response and then send it.
I like to create a an album in my photos app that is full of only GIFs so that i’m not frantically scrolling through my entire photo collection.
There’s more fun where that came from.
Making your own GIFs is also a possibility. GIFs were usually made by tech-savvy folk using a fancy computer program. These were the gatekeepers of what would be made into a GIF and what would stay as a regular video. But those days are long gone.
With the advancement in mobile apps, anyone can now make GIFs of anything they want. As a Twitter user I see all kinds of videos on my timeline and some of them NEED to be a GIF so that I can use later. The app I use is called ImgPlay and it’s the greatest ever.
ImgPlay lets you upload a video you wish to turn into a GIF, save and download to your photos. It includes capabilities of slicing videos if you only want a portion to be GIFed, speed up or slow down playback, loop limitations or infinite, add filters or text, and even save in multiple file sizes! Sometimes I’m bored out of my mind and I’ll hop on and make a few GIFs to share with my friends. They’re never impressed but I enjoy them. Here’s a few I’ve made (left to right): my baby Ophie, a happy dog I saw on a road trip, VR dinosaur, my friend Sadie showing us she’s a ballerina queen, a moment that makes me laugh whenever i’m feeling blue, Mickey’s 90th display in Downtown Disney.