Let’s just get one thing out of the way real quickly. How did you pronounce gift after you just read over my hilarious title and again once you read the first clause of this sentence? Did you internally narrate it as gift the way a baby ga’s on a Gerber can? Or did you say jif as in the peanut butter that can be eaten in a jiffy? I would bet you thought GIFt. Which is why it’s pronounced GIF not JIF. Agreed. Moving on.

This will probaby be my shortest blog/entry, but I had to spread the love for gifs. Gifs are to millenials what Shakespeare was to sonnets. They take the adage, “A picture’s worth a thousand words,” and raise the stakes to say, “This picture is actually worth more than a thousand words because it moves and also ocassionally has words.” No group text these days is complete without tossing a few gifs back and forth. And, inevitably, every person I know has a favorite gif or series of gifs. In fact, gifs are so pervasive, that even my middle-aged father prefers to communicate with them and he calls phones “Facebookers” and calling “using the phone app.”

My father’s favorite gif for absolutely no reason whatsoever

What I love most about gifs is what they add to conversations. For example, if a discussion is heating up, I’ll send this:

If I’m making plans with friends, I send this:

And this if I’m not quite ready:

If someone’s sad, but not about something too terrible to merit a serious discussion, I send this:

Finally, if I’m confused, and maybe even a little perturbed, I send this:

Gifs can relieve tension, exaggerate excitement, serve as a lazy response, or just make both senders and receivers chuckle. They’re a personal favorite communication method of mine and a method that’s pretty hard to go wrong with. Just pay attention to context. And know that anything from a popular TV show, especially The Office, and/or featuring a cute animal is almost always a hit.

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