For Those Using The Gift of The Gif Properly (We Salute You)

So I’m on twitter RT’ing this artist’s renditions of gender swapped heroes (yall know who I am), right? and I come across a convo my friends are having. I wanna stress that I came across the convo on my Twitter feed cause really Twitter as a whole is just eavesdropping on folks’ conversations in general right. They’re fellow writers/performers and one forgot her neck pillow for her flight. Her friends shared her grief with a “Nooooo.” And there in the moment of them comforting their friend and being decent human beings a window of opportunity was opened. The opportunity to make the perfect pop culture reference and joke upon the situation via a gif, the small animated miracles of the internet.

It was the perfect set up for a Family Guy reference!Behind the scenes of making that reference, SO MUCH WORK went into getting the gif. I found it but it was too big, I had to downsize it so it could fit onto Twitter, then it was too grainy, so I had to search again, even considering making the gif myself. I then found one the right size but it wouldn’t save to a format my computer recognized, I THEN had to post the URL to my Tumblr in a private post and save it from there before I was finally able to transfer it over into Twitter and make this joke that only three people liked (literally). All that work for such a small reference… but the amount of joy that that brought to my heart was immeasurable.

See, you gotta understand there are two type of people in the world (wide web). Those that google search a reaction gif they need and go with the first result and those that search through Tumblr, Pinterest, Imgur and page 34 of Google (each in its own tab) for that one gif they saw years ago that would be PERFECT for the current situation. Gifs are the perfect translators of emotion over the internet. They can explain in detail just how you feel at any current moment.

For example, my father has been hitting me up to get my 401k in order. I don’t know shit about 401ks because I’m not too sure how to adult yet, and learning how to adult takes so much time that I want to spend sleeping, catching up on comics, mastu— mastering the universe, sleeping. Each time he calls it feels like Mufasa coming back through the clouds to tell Simba to get his shit together.

Mufasa: I don’t know what this hakuna matata is but I know it ain’t payin’ bills. So open up a credit union account, add in 10% of your regular salary.

Boom, insight into my life and all my business via the magic of the gif. Life The internet gives us soooo many opportunities to throw in gifs. I got a co-worker THAT ONLY REPLIES in gifs…and everyone in the office gets the gist of what he is saying. You’re in a chat with friends and you let them gifs fly. Gifs allow you the ability to retell a story or your reaction to something with explicit detail that words just can’t embody. For instance,

When I see someone gettin dragged.
When I’m doing the dragging.

Now remember what I said about there being two types of people in regards to gifs? Technically there’s three, The Ghost in the gif. The people that save their go-to gifs in a folder on their computer or their phone just waiting for the right opportunity to use them. I once spent a whole fucking afternoon searching for a gif I saw MOOOONTHS ago on Tumblr. I typed in all types of searches for it, I needed this gif man. This shit was out in the world just waiting for me. It’s a treasure hunt for fucking pixels. Some artist too good for this world made this gif just for me to find and put to use however I saw fit.

You have any idea how much shit I had to go through? How many fucking fandoms and ships I had to sift through? Bobbin’ and weaving tentacle porn just trying to find this fucking gif. That’s not even mentioning when you gotta put in the hunt for gifs when doing recaps for shows. You think I’m playing? you think I’m makin’ this up just for show? ASK EIC WILL EVANS ABOUT THAT SHIT! Ask’em and watch that thousand yard stare go over his eyes. That man done seen things too, just to bring yall the gifs you need and deserve when recap’n shows.

AND DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON THE PAIN OF FINDING THE PERFECT FUCKING GIF BUT IT’S TOO BIG FOR TWITTER OR TUMBLR?! ARGHHHHHH, the internet gods be a cruel host sometimes man. It’s the fucking wooooooorst. Take this gif below that the interwebs bestowed upon me.

Swerving White privilege like…

Do you know how many jokes I had to sit on with this gif because I couldn’t get it to load on Tumblr? I had flames for this gif, big plans, was goin’ make the caption,

When you reverse reverse racism.
When no fuck boy formed against you shall prosper

I had hits for this shit man. I found this gif like a year ago, It was sitting Valhalla (I keep my gifs in one of two folders, one labeled “Valhalla” and the other called “The Mind Palace”.) begging to be used. My fellow staff member Carrie understands where I am coming from, she uses so many gifs at lightning speed in conversations, we’re all wondering where she is pulling them from. Each one set perfectly to whatever topic or joke that’s being made, or an awkward moment she is commenting on. If gifs were bullets than Carrie entered the unlimited ammo GTA cheat code cause her clips never come up empty.

That’s the beauty of the use of gifs tho, there’s really no way to explain the pure bliss of nailing someone with a gif, or taking their joke as an alley-oop and then yamming just the right gif onto it to make it even better. There are few things better than sticking the landing with a gif that just shuts everything the fuck down.

You get the chance to see a joke appreciated among friends in the moment or perhaps shared on Tumblr with a multitude of notes. Gifs will outlast us all and so will the jokes and posts they’re attached in because as Theon Greyjoy should have said:


And to those that used this article as a break before going back on their quest for that special gif waiting out there for you. I say to you godspeed, may your post or joke be flames due to your drive and ambition.

god speed.
God speed.

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  • Omar Holmon is a content editor that is here to make .gifs, obscure references, and find the correlation between everything Black and Nerdy.

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