GIFs are an amazing addition to the developing digital lexicon. They enable human communication to be even more vivid, dynamic and engrossing, yet somehow leaving room for interpretation or different meanings in different contexts, which is the opposite of what technology has done for communication in almost every other conceivable sense. Even though Steve Wilhite introduced the planet to GIF—Graphics Interchange Format (yes, it stands for something)—in 1987 while working with Compuserve, people have only just now stopped freaking out when I use GIFs in response to texts with them. Seriously, sometimes Hank Hill dancing with Ladybird is the only appropriate answer to an iMessage question. I don't make the rules. Anyway, as of last year, Giphy.com started asking users to submit their own GIFs to The .GIFYS award show. There, a panel of qualified judges (aka, Internet people) selected the cream of the pixelated crop in a range of categories.
I am still a bit lost in the dream of these judges' task at hand. Spendings days or weeks combing through jovial, animated images submitted from all over the planet. Do you think they know how lucky they are? I like to think so. I hope so. I digress! There are 11 exhaustive categories that include the bizarre, the adorable, the sassy, and the political. Of course, though, there can only be one GIF of the year. Let's see all the categorical winners, first.
Tiny goats doing parkour all over each other? Obviously this speaks to my soul.
Art and design
Clearly a metaphor for Tinder and sadly (I think) one maybe for the indecision of dating in general.
Can't look away
I cannot...how? How is this happening?
This is the second-most engrossing image of Shaq I've seen all year. Recently, though, my friend GChatted me the No. 1 one.
Film and TV
I'm not totally sure what's going on here, but I want to keep watching. Forever.
Nature and science
News and politics
Here is the image of perfection.
Sports are confusing.
Next-level partying right there.
And the GIF Of The Year is...
Images: Getty Images; Giphy (11)