The use of GIFs (Graphics Interchange Format) has become increasingly common – even among older generations – as people realize how effectively they communicate humor, allowing users to express themselves. and allow relationships to be maintained. BYU communication professor Scott Church said that even though people don’t think much about their GIF use, understanding them and how we use them can help us better understand ourselves and who we are in today’s media. How to communicate in environment.
According to a new study by Church and a team of BYU co-authors, GIF users tend to fall into one of three categories: GIF enthusiasts, explorers or contextualists. Read on to find out what kind of GIF user you are and what it says about you.
Who Are GIF Enthusiasts?
GIF enthusiasts are those who are savvy in Internet culture, Church says, who know GIFs well and enjoy using them to make others laugh. Enthusiasts view GIFs as a meaningful way to express themselves and love to impress others with their knowledge and familiarity with GIFs.
Enthusiasts love the emotions GIFs allow them to express through text, and understand they are a richer form of media than emoji or pictures. They are primarily inspired by the communicative potential of GIFs, and this inspiration comes from a focus on the social benefits of sending GIFs.
One GIF enthusiast in this study said, “I hate that my body language can’t be expressed through texting, so much of our communication is lost.” “I think GIFs help restore a little bit of what’s been lost.”
Enthusiasts are also well versed in Internet culture, and often want to be recognized as such. Emoji can be static and overused; To avoid the same happening with your own GIFs, Enthusiasts keep updated on which GIFs are popular and relevant.
Who Are GIF Searchers?
For searchers, it’s all about the “thrill of the hunt” finding that one perfect GIF. Every situation is unique, and they love finding that GIF that conveys exactly what they want to express.
One participant said, “A friend will do something and then I get one that shows what they did.”
Searchers view GIFs as a humorous and light-hearted form of communication and avoid using them to discuss real or serious topics. They prefer quick, easy to view, GIFs and don’t consider romantic or long GIFs to be worth their time. Searchers often enjoy scrolling through to find the ideal GIF, viewing it as a challenge, which often results in obscure GIFs that complement a situation perfectly.
Who are the GIF referentialists?
Referentialists are usually involved in pop culture and don’t like to search for GIFs. They are more likely to use a GIF as a response to a GIF they send because it references a common interest like a TV show or popular meme.
One referentialist said, “I love using pop culture…it’s like an inside joke,” while another said, “If there’s anyone who likes to use GIFs, I want to reciprocate.” Trying… to match his style.”
Referentialists often use fandom-specific GIFs, as this helps them avoid the process of searching for GIFs and potentially gives them ways to connect with their audiences. They often send GIFs out of social obligation, in return for what was sent to them, and believe that their friends will find it more fun if it is associated with a funny TV show or game.
Referentialists also refer to GIFs as a method to avoid awkwardness.
“Sometimes people say things that are weird or in bad taste,” said one study participant. “You don’t really want to respond, but you have an obligation. So, GIFs are a funny, semi-sarcastic way to respond. And it can help turn the situation around.”Life Style