How I Learned to Love Retro-Style Media like Instagram and Animated Gifs
Sometimes I feel like an old fuddy-duddy when it comes to new technology, which is ridiculous since I work in Digital Media and have a Masters Degree in said field. But I'll be honest-it took me a while to understand why Instagram was so cool.
You want me to take a nice photo and turn it into a washed out picture that looks like it's as old as I am? What??
But then I noticed Shutterfly and Snapfish started selling new products especially for square (Ie: Instagram) prints and then I thought "Oooh how cute."
Same thing happened with these animated gifs that are now all the rage. You see them as memes and segments on talk shows. But again-I didn't get it.
You want me to take a perfectly good picture and make a piece of digital media that's circa 1996? We've moved waaay beyond that now. Why is going backwards cool?
But then I saw the best Cliff Notes version of a TV episode ever-summed up as an animated gif. It was tweeted out by Bravo's Watch What Happens Live account (@BravoWWHL) promoting tonight's show which will feature Carol Radziwill from Real Housewives NY, and they would be discussing #BookGate. OMG! I had missed the episode and had no idea what they were talking about. Never fear-I simply clicked on the Tumbler link.
Bravo had created 4 animated gifs to capture this new #BookGate controversy--basically an argument between two of the Housewives-Carole Radziwill and Aviva Drescher. It was hilarious, entertaining, and within seconds I got the gist of the argument and knew who's side I was on. (Body language says a lot.)
It was a great use of this retro animation style for which I now have a new appreciation. Quick, succinct, and eye-catching. I will definitely think more about using animated gifs in the future.
And I guess when I think about it, I shouldn't poo-poo retro-style things like Instagram and animated gifs. Quick nostalgic-style modes of communication glorify eras-gone-by, striking balance in a world that is always moving forward.