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Do gifs bother you when reading an article?

Devin W. Leaman
I'm just some guy who likes making and fixing things that usually involve a keyboard and/or a mouse.
・Updated on ・1 min read

Hey Dev folks,

I've been on here for a few months now and I read rather regularly but one thing I've noticed particularly on here is the usage of gifs in articles. There are times when a gif is absolutely perfect for conveying a thought or message that wouldn't come across the same just in text. However, I've seen gifs littered throughout articles as if to have them for the sake of having a cute or funny gif in the post and it's distracting to see it reload over and over again as I'm trying to read something below or above it.

I'm wondering if there's anyone else who finds them as distracting as I do or if I'm just being a big curmudgeon about it 😅 Any comments would be greatly appreciated.

Discussion (32)

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dmfay profile image
Dian Fay

I find they're often noise and rarely signal (or at least, a signal I'm interested in) but I fear we might be in the minority on this one.

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4lch4 profile image
Devin W. Leaman Author

This outlines my feelings to the nose. Thanks for reassuring me I'm not the only one 😅

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genejams profile image
{Gene}

Ok I'm guilty too, but I wanted to try using a few. Then I realized it was mainly for my own amusement of that very moment. Gifs don't make a content better they can rather make it worse if misused. They are good and efficient for short messaging though.

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4lch4 profile image
Devin W. Leaman Author

They're wonderful for conveying emotion when text won't suffice, I couldn't agree more.

I'm glad to hear your take on it, I hadn't considered it was for the writers enjoyment.

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moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair

Text will always suffice.

trollface.jpg

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genejams profile image
{Gene}

Yeah but perhaps it's me, I don't know how to use them =D seriously!
Being a net citizen since the 90's makes me a bit uncomfortable and unused to these modern "emoticons". I was already fine with 8 bit fonts (= smileys.

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4lch4 profile image
Devin W. Leaman Author

Oooohhh boy... Old school emotes lol. Those were the days.

Funny enough I found myself in the same position about a year or two ago when I started using Discord. I felt like an old man not being able to keep up with all the gif reactions and custom emoji, it was overwhelming at first. After some time, I feel you'll get the hang of it though 😊

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ryan profile image
Ryan

I think there's a place for gifs, I'm not sure they fit in articles on this site. Most of the posts I read here interest me because I am trying to learn something (either something I don't know about that seems useful, or a feature in something I regularly use), and gifs are distracting when I am trying to digest new knowledge.

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codemouse92 profile image
Jason C. McDonald • Edited

I'm generally one of the "guilty parties", although I do try to select a handful of GIFs (usually no more than one per heading) that relate directly to the topic. My main point with them is to break up the monotony that a bunch of text can create.

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4lch4 profile image
Devin W. Leaman Author

That can be handy, I guess I feel a a still image would be less distracting but if the gif was actually relevant to the topic then I can see it working.

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ferricoxide profile image
Thomas H Jones II • Edited

One of the things to remember about some of the articles that end up here is that they're the result of article mirroring. In my case, anything that I post to my Blogger/BlogSpot tech-blog gets mirrored here. While there are many people that are writing for others to read, there's likely just as many that are writing solely for themselves - others' reading is more a side-effect of search engines finding your open-published page.

For people falling into that latter group, what's important is how readable/memorable an article is to the author an not "some rando". =)

That said, I generally eschew graphics in blog posts (unless there's really, really, really no other way to succinctly convey a concept). Though I am way guilty of making Slack channels look like Geocities had a seizure.

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4lch4 profile image
Devin W. Leaman Author

I tend to forget that some people do write for themselves. An interesting point, thanks.

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andy profile image
Andy Zhao (he/him)

I'm on the fence on this one. As a newbie writer, they're an easy way to put some simple fun into a post that can also add decent value. As a reader though, I generally find the infinite loop factor distracting. It's great the first few iterations, but afterward my eyes are mindlessly drawn toward them and not the text.

That said, I think it would be cool to have more options as a reader of turning them off in some way, as M. Shemayev mentioned.

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4lch4 profile image
Devin W. Leaman Author

I'm sure there's an extension out there for Chrome that would do this. It's just unfortunate I can't add extensions on mobile.

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gmartigny profile image
Guillaume Martigny

Human attention can't be at peak all the time. For a good learning session, you need some relief to rest your brain. Comic is a good solution for this.

Of course, a comedy show is not the best way to learn. It's just a matter of balance.

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qm3ster profile image
Mihail Malo

Sometimes they can be distracting, especially when they are full bleed and move fast with high contrast. But it depends on my mood whether they'll actually impact me. Usually the worst offenders are sparse enough that I can just scroll them out of view, so I haven't had to resort to more dire measures.

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moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair

Not so much, no. Unless they're all over the place to the extent that it feels like I'm reading Geocities.

Where they do get in the way is in slides during presentations. They can be funny, but too often they sit behind the talker while they rabbit on about something else and you find yourself watching the cat fall over again and again and wait what was that dev talking about?

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estefaie profile image
Hemen

I hate gifts and joke images in an article as they're really distracting. Especially gifs, they're super annoying as they don't let me concentrate. GIF ads are even worse as you usually cannot scroll out of them.

This might be an issue with not all of the people though. I have noticed, I personally cannot stop my brain focusing on any motion picture on the TV, mobile, or any other type of screen.

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itsasine profile image
ItsASine (Kayla)

Gif of pfft no

I use emojis in posts but not gifs, mainly because I don't think gifs add to the content of an article.

Gifs totally add to comments, though. I'll never stop doing that.

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ferricoxide profile image
Thomas H Jones II

Stop trying to make fetch happen. It's not gonna happen.

I'd post a Gif-reply, but my work workstation's being stoopid-slow, this morning.

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pkristiancz profile image
Patrik Kristian

Gifs should be stoppable. Like teitter does it :) When i eant to tead something, everything what moves distract me.

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maxwell_dev profile image
Max Antonucci

In articles, yes.

In pull requests, never. I believe that all PRs need at least one GIF, because they're little sparks of joy in work that make life taste sweeter. It's also a good excuse to use more anime references at my job.

GIF of Taiga from the anime ToraDora jumping up with joy while being awkwardly watched.

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4lch4 profile image
Devin W. Leaman Author

🤣 I never thought of it this way, but that's some good reasoning to use anime gifs. I'm gonna have to spice up some PR's with gifs now.

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Aria Janke

I'm neurodivergent, gifs make articles very difficult to read. I have to use tools to disable the animations. I'll grant this may violate certain service's ToS, but I've no choice if I wish for it to be "accessible" to me.

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kpollich profile image
Kyle Pollich

Yes. Gifs and large, full-width memes really take away from my reading experience on informative articles.

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alephnaught2tog profile image
M. Shemayev

I just wish they were freezeable or collapseable.

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4lch4 profile image
Devin W. Leaman Author

There's gotta be an extension or something that can handle this..

4lch4 profile image
Devin W. Leaman Author

Jeeeeeez, the common average is 200KB/s? Holy shit.

This reminds me to appreciate the internet I have here in the states 😅

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alchermd profile image
John Alcher

A handful is tolerable. But when it becomes a Tumblr gif-fest where every discernible emotion or attempt at humor is paired with a gif... it's insufferable.

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4lch4 profile image
Devin W. Leaman Author

I honestly forget about slow-internet areas and this issue. I'm working on a new article and was adding a couple images for flair but don't add much. I think I'll take them out now.. 🤔