I shrugged off my dodgy knee and the grey in my beard. But if my beloved animated graphics are no longer fashionable, does this make me obsolete too?
At the risk of sounding like a show-off, I’m really good at gifs. Not the pre-packaged kind: there’s no man-blinking-in-polite-disbelief in my repertoire, no
, and certainly no Ron Burgundy saying: “That escalated quickly.” We’re talking bespoke, artisanal gifs, hand-selected for each occasion. Sometimes, I even make my own, noting down a bon mot or a wry facial expression from a TV show and saving it for a special occasion. Super Hans from Peep Show saying: “The secret ingredient is crime”? It’s not a multipurpose gif, like Homer Simpson backing slowly into a hedge, but that only makes its rare deployment more effective.
There’s only one problem with this, and if you’re gen Y or younger you’re probably already doing a TikTok to explain it to me: gifs aren’t cool any more. Middle-aged people use gifs now. Twitter and WhatsApp have gif search bars that help even the most technophobic users find a little girl having a sugar rush at a baseball game, or Steve Carell yelling: “No!” They’re universal, therefore lame. I don’t make the rules, as Natasha Lyonne
says in a gif
from a show I haven’t seen. I wish I did.
Joel Snape is a writer and fitness expert