All Hail Lord .Gif

.Gif’s are the emotional balm of today’s social media driven youth. These Graphic Interchange Format files take your typically static meme-worthy photograph, and give them a level up. They’re usually found in the form of low resolution, repeated loops of still images or video clips, soothing our over-worked souls with animations of silly boys doing silly things, or cute cats doing even cuter things.

When we are beset on all sides by Billy Bob’s Facebook status lamenting his dropped hotdog, or Mary Sue-Anne Bennett’s incessant uploading of mascara-riddled selfies to Instagram, we need a way out, a break from all the depressingly insipid drivel our “friends” on Facebook post on their walls describing their mundane, day-to-day concerns and activities. Instead, when the going gets tough — when there are one too many Snaps sent our way by that one friend we’d really rather not know — the impersonal .gif can grant us the levity we desperately need to make it through the day.

Who needs that Snapchatting friend, when we have galloping unicorns that have middle fingers for heads?

Who needs fine art, when we have Mario betraying Yoshi while giving him the middle finger?

And who needs emotional public service announcements, when we have chubby kids in glasses giving us the middle finger?

Sure, there might be an inordinate amount of middle fingers being bandied about in the world of .gif’s, but if they can provide us with even a few, fleeting seconds of stifled chuckling, then they’ll have done their job, and done it well. Congratulations, .gif creators the world over. You’re taking down the monotony of our existence one 200x200 pixel resolution looped series of images at a time. What class acts.

And .gif’s don’t always have to be explicitly comedic in nature to hold value. They can be dark, abstract, or simply weird, so long as they help us ignore the inane repetition of cookie-cutter YouTube vlogs, or distract us from the mindless tedium of nonsensical tweets that vainly attempt to impart some kind of profound aphorism the Twitter user most likely ripped off of Sun Tzu’s Art of War.

Take, for example, this loop of a bone-white figure embedded in a dark web headlined by the words “There is nothing here today,” reminding us that our days are, more often than not, an exercise in insanity, where we’re doomed to repeat the same things over and over again expecting different results.

Or, how about a cat head buoyed by a body of furrily amorphous cloud, to suggest the fickle, transient nature of our finite reality?

And even when they make absolutely no sense, they can still jerk us free from our social-media-as-opiate-induced reverie.

.Gif’s are the diamonds in the rough of social media. We might scroll through dozens of pages of our Facebook Newsfeed, or be forced to view a hundred photos of people we couldn’t care less about on Instagram, but if we run into even one of these babies, it will have been worth the sore thumb (or index finger, if you have small hands and still insist on carrying around the latest Samsung phablet).

Because, let’s face it — if your friends’ lives are boring or depressing, there’s a good chance yours is too.

So, when life gives you lemons, turn to .gif’s, and let a little light shine on through.

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