Photo from giphy.com
Story by Mackenzie Walters, Reporter
Many people use texting as one of their main forms of communication, but are they confident that they’re getting their point across with just words? Texts can be misleading in every way. This is where GIFs come in.
GIFs assist in getting one’s point across by using a moving image for a more visual representation. Memes are visual as well, but they are static pictures with words pasted over them. They are representative of a specific moment in time, while GIFS are more adaptable. For example, let’s say I wanted to explain something that happened in three seconds. If I sent a meme, it would only show a specific moment in that time frame, not the whole three seconds. Memes are just as misleading as plain text messages.
Allow me to explain here. If my friend sent me something that I absolutely loved, or thought was so funny I wanted to cry, a GIF would be perfectly appropriate. I want my friend to know exactly how I am feeling toward what they sent me. I can send a GIF that I feel accurately represents my reaction to their text, like the “cool beans” GIF above, for example. In the GIF, it shows the man shouting it with excitement. With a meme, the facial expression is only captured in one moment which can be misleading. If I sent a plain text like “that’s cool”, they may find that what I said could have been sarcasm or just that I showed lack of interest. The “cool beans” meme could have worked better than a plain text, but it would not have accurately shown my reaction because of the static picture.
GIFs are available in many forms. They can capture a moment from a movie, TV show, advertisement, or any recording someone may refer to in a conversation. They are the new and upcoming form of text messaging. People can have an entire conversation with just GIFs. I know this because I’ve done it. It is actually pretty cool. iPhone users that have iOS 10 or later already have access to GIFs. Just tap on the “#images” button while in a text message, and you can search and choose a GIF to accurately represent what you want to say. Third party GIFs are also available for download in the app store.
Don’t be afraid to send a GIF, they’re more helpful than you may think.