Pet Peeve #44: Animated GIFs

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I know, we just had a full week of grievances, and now a pet peeve? Don’t worry–there is a bright side to this one.

At first this entry was going to be about animated GIFs in general. If you’re not familiar with the term, I’m sure you’ve seen them online. They look like very short (4 second) videos, but they’re technically image files, so you don’t have to download them or let them buffer. They play in an endless loop. Time after time you’ll see someone fall down the stairs or make a funny face, that kind of thing.

For some reason they annoyed me at first. I think it’s the endless loop. I don’t want to hear a joke over and over again in rapid succession. I want some time to laugh, maybe watch it a few times, and let it go.

Eventually I realized that I could just close the page after a few views and move on.

BUT I now know what really bothers me: multiple animated GIFs on the same screen. It’s too much for me to process! I mean, you can’t watch two sitcoms at the same time, right? You can’t watch two funny movies at the same time. You watch one. You process one. You enjoy one.

Watching more than one animated GIF at a time makes my brain angry.

Just to be specific, the key place where I’ve found this annoying is on blogs (typically Tumblr–the lists on Buzzfeed don’t bother me much) where someone will say something like, “This is how I felt today:” and then they’ll insert 2-4 animated GIFs. Come on, people. Can’t you just choose one? If a comedian used three different punchlines on every joke, he’d get booed off the stage.

We all have to take a stand on something. This is my stand.