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  • Kieran Bailey

The 7 Gifs I Use More Than I Should

Remote work. Love it or hate it, it's pretty much here as a permanent fixture even as everyone is getting vaccinated and the world opens back up. And along with the physical office space transitioning to the virtual office space, a certain type of graphic file has been stepping up to the plate to fill in the nuances of communication in the Slack channels and Teams spaces.


Presenting, the Gif. The Tumblr Kid's favorite expressive art form has blossomed into a communication style all its own. Short little loops of soundless expression that convey a full range of human emotion and offer quite a bit of insight to the person sending them.


My partner and I had a conversation where he theorized that everyone has 7 core gifs that they rely on at all times. Not only do I agree with this, I think it should be the new virtual icebreaker question for the Zoom networking events.


These are my 7 go-to gifs for just about every situation.


Something For Good News


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This in particular is from an **iconic** Spongebob episode, shows that he's having a good time, and is celebratory without being too celebratory. It can also prompt a rousing group viewing of Sweet Victory, which is a morale boost for anyone with at least some of a soul.


I love a Spongebob gif. Sometimes I'll just search "Spongebob + situation I need a gif for" because I think it is the perfect mix of cartoonish whimsy and nostalgia. What it really does is probably just reaffirms everyone's suspicions about the basic millennial that I am. They're not wrong.

Something For Not Good News


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In this gif, Season 2 Blackadder reacts to something ridiculous that Queenie or Nursey probably said. What I appreciate about this gif is that it can be anything from a "huh? please explain more" to a "well that's not good".


Sometimes gifs are a flex of how "cultured" you see yourself. In addition to being an accurate representation of what my face is probably doing at the moment I send it, it also says that I appreciate the cerebral comedic stylings of 80's British Historical Sitcoms. What it really does is ping my fellow Anglophiles radar so that we can start a private discussion about which Doctor is the best (10, obvs) and puzzle out whatever prompted this response in the first place.


Something For Tea, Gossip, Or A Wink And A Nudge


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Here we have Tennessee's finest, Dolly Parton, giving a little wink and nod to the viewer whilst drinking something from a large mug. A classic premise for a "Tea" gif. Everyone needs a "Tea" gif. What I like about this one is that it's a little more playful than the Kermit

one and it's not digital blackface.


Again, this probably is just another great example of my basic millennial-ness, but I don't care. Sitting in my home office in the heart of Nashville, we claim her, worship her, and all strive to be more like her every single day.


Something For When Things Are Falling Apart, But Out Of Your Hands


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Something blowing up on Twitter that is prompting water cooler talk? There's a gif for that. I choose a simple Bill Hader gif to, once again, fairly accurately represent what my actual face is doing when I'm sending it. If you see this, please imagine me cradling my third cup of coffee while I peer into the screen and raise one eyebrow.


I don't know what this says about me, other than the list of Kiwi's Weird Crushes has some interesting entries.


Something To Congratulate Or Confirm A Message


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Behold, the obligatory boyband entry on this list. Hason giving thumbs up gives me everything. It's just a boyband emoji, but pretty much in line with what you can already tell about me as a person. What I also enjoy is that their faces run the full gambit on how sarcastic you might feel today.


As an important aside, I want to give Team Hanson some props for leaning in and embracing the areas that their fans are hanging out. They went and made a whole series of these gifs and are so totally on this current season of Masked Singer.


Something To React To Praise


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I like gifs that can play multiple ways, and nobody does that better than Moira Rose. Is this sincere? Is it sarcastic? Who knows? There's a fine line when it comes to the displays of a darker/saltier/umami sense of humor online. Snark is fun but without actual body language and tone, it can get really difficult to suss out what is tongue in cheek and what is serious. In an environment where most communication is online, it's even harder if you haven't actually met your coworkers face to face. I appreciate pop culture characters like Moira for this reason; chances are people are at least familiar with the premise of the show/character traits and the tone that these lines are said.


Something To Support A Friend


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In addition to being my forever #WCW, I take a fair amount of life advice from Leslie Knope, and her compliments to Ann are wonderful quotes to letter in your daily affirmations. I have a special fondness for this one.


Pep Talks are vital in the workforce. Some days are hard. Some days are Monday. Having something motivating that isn't cheesy is a nice thing to slide in someone's Slack DMs. Building comradery is good, and pop culture gifs are a good way to do that.


Something That's An Oddly Specific Reference That Nobody Else Will Get


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If the name "Scriver Creek Travelers Notebooks" means anything to you, this is hilarious. If you know, you know.


I am forever building up my GIF stash to be prepared for a wide variety of situations at both home and office. Join the conversation and send me your top 7 gifs over on Twitter!

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