The advent of texting and the Internet has developed into a giant social network that cultures ideas, conversations, and dialogue. One of the primary means of communication is through written text. However, text can be difficult to interpret.
For example, here is an anonymous exchange between two classmates:
Kevin: Want to study?
Andrew: Let’s do it tonight.
Kevin: For real?
Andrew: Sure. I’ve been procrastinating about this for too long.
Kevin: OMG, I’ve been waiting for this to.
So, the outcome of this conversation lead to an extremely awkward situation as one person was looking forward to study for a test while the other student was interested in becoming more intimate.
To avoid mis-interpretation of the original intent, emoticons and other symbols help convey intent and communicate the message:
Kevin: Want to study? 🙂
Kevin: Want to study? 😉
It certainly helps to convey the tone of the message. In a regular conversation, inflections in tonality help convey meaning and intent. Without aid of such auditory devices, it is easy to interpret the meaning of a very simple phrase. Digital narrative emulates those actions and tone through different means.
BY WRITING IN ALL CAPS, IT CERTAINLY SOUNDS LIKE I’M YELLING! THIS CERTAINLY HELPS EMPHASIS MY POINT AND THE EMOTIONAL INTENT OF THIS STATEMENT. PAY ATTENTION!
To further express digital narrative, users who comment in message boards have resorted to using GIFs or strong visual images to express their reactions. This aids in the expression of the commentators as part of the dialogue:
Kevin: You remember Oscar Pistorius, the double-amputee Olympic hero?
Kevin: He is being charged for murder for shooting his girlfriend 4 times on Valentines’ Day!
Therefore, the idea of the GIF assists in helping conveying a more in depth emotion or reaction in a conversation that occurs digitally. For a more interesting library of reaction gifs, browse the selection collected at http://www.reactiongifs.com/ and views the plethora of GIFs that communicate a variety of reactions and emotions.