One of the popular things to add to a Social Media post, or to a message, is a .gif. Each and every day as a Radio Personality part of our daily role is to not only host a show over the airwaves, but to also connect electronically. Whether it's social media, or on the station's website. So we see a lot of images and content daily as we search for things to add to our stories. It is almost impossible to go the day without seeing a gif unless you are completely off the grid and living under a rock! It seems like overnight they have become an essential way to communicate! There is a gif for almost any occasion and believe it or not there is even a special group of gifs for our grand State of Texas--like what's pictured above. If that were an active .gif, the oil rig would be pumping and in motion. But what exactly is a gif? Who invented it and how did it get so popular? According to Webster a gif is “a computer file format for the compression and storage of visual digital information”. It was invented back on June 15, 1987 by a Computer Scientist at CompuServe named Steve Wilhite. Wait! 1987?

If this has been around for over 30 years why had I never heard of it even 10 years ago? Well it seems, like a fine wine, the gif only improved with age! They started as a way to display still images but as technology improved, so did the gif. The gif we know today is a short looping animation made famous by? The internet of course! “Social networking/discussion sites such as Tumblr and Reddit, along with image hosting service Imgur, have played a key role in making gifs a mass shared experience”.

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Ok so now, like me, you may be wondering--what is the difference between a gif and a meme? Looking again to Webster, a Meme is defined as “an element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, especially imitation.” Simply put, a gif can be a meme! So now that you know more than you ever wanted to know about gifs, I will leave you with wishes of a Wonderful Holiday Season!! I gif you a Merry Christmas!

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