So Emotional: Gen Z and Visual Social Media

In the last few years, there’s been an explosion in the use of GIFS — those little-looped videos that seem to be everywhere. The GIF is often misunderstood as a component of modern communication.

Gen Z navigates their social media anxieties by relying on visual-centric social media platforms, like GIFs, emoji, and memes, wherein they can both create and share visual content to express their emotions.

On social platforms, they embrace memes, visual narratives, GIFs and emoji to create fanart and provide their visual interpretations of shared cultural experiences and project their own emotions into their social media feeds.

In this episode of the Australian podcast, Future Tense, host Antony Funnell talks to digital researchers and linguists about the ways that people are using GIFs, emoji, selfies and other visual communication tools as narratives to express their ideas, emotions or as visual expressions and celebrations of shared cultural moments.