The choice of GIF is associated with how one may communicate

The U.S.-based Brigham Young University recently conducted a study to identify different kinds of GIF users. Graphics Interchange Format, commonly known as GIF, are short scenes that are usually shared during a conversation to make it more engaging or better depict how one is feeling. Communicating through GIFs has become common as people of all ages use them according to their needs. According to the university’s communication professor, Scott Church, GIF senders can be divided into 3 categories, namely, enthusiasts, referentiality, and searchers.

Starting with the first type, Scott said that enthusiasts are well familiar with their GIFs. They send them to make the other person laugh, as they use it as a mode of expression. These kinds of people prefer GIFs over the use of emojis. Scott shared the thoughts of one of the enthusiasts. According to that person, GIFs can be used to restore lost communication. The professor further added that these types of users would keep themselves updated with trending topics and would later share their knowledge in the form of GIFs.

Moving on to the second type, referentiality. For them, Scott revealed that these are the people who use GIFs as a tool to reply to the GIFs they received from the other user. They believe that by doing so, they can match their style with the person they are communicating with. Referentialists may believe that if a GIF is found to be related to any entertainment show or game, others will find it hilarious. They may also use it as a way of getting out of awkward discussions. One of the referentiality expressed their views by saying that whenever they would find themselves in a position where replying was a must, even if the message itself was awkward, using a GIF would be their way out.

And lastly, the picky GIF users, also known as “searchers,” are the ones who would set sail to find that perfect GIF that goes with the topic under discussion. However, searchers would use GIFs only when the discussion is not serious. They would scroll down to find what they need.

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