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You might think that funny memes are the biggest enemies of productivity and are just generally useless. But, during the pandemic, it was one of the ways people coped with their negative emotions. As a result of viewing memes, we get a mood boost, which equips us to better deal with problems in our real life.

So, why don’t you give yourself a few minutes to scroll through some random memes? We’ve got just the selection for that – a variety from The Best of Tumblr. Facebook page. Now, be careful: the memes actually have very little to do with Tumblr itself. But does that mean they’re less funny? Not a chance! So scroll down, and let us know which ones you like the most by, as YouTubers say, smashing that upvote button.

It's hard to imagine memes ever going out of fashion. The ways we share them, however, are slowly changing. When I was in my first years of university, we likely wouldn't go a week without sending each other the "This Is Fine" dog GIF. While the meme itself is still very much alive and well (and just celebrated its 10th anniversary last year!), I last saw it in GIF format quite a long time ago.

So, what happened? Did GIFs go out of fashion? According to the GIF search engine GIPHY, sort of. At the end of 2022, when the company was basically begging Meta to buy it, they declared that the reason that no one else would buy it was there was less and less interest from users. "They have fallen out of fashion as a content form, with younger users in particular describing gifs as 'for boomers' and 'cringe,'" GIPHY wrote in their filing for the Competition and Markets Authority.

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Ahhhh,itsLouna
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

You're to person to your children that you needed when you were a kid..... I heard....

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Corvus
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It's a fairly obvious secret, so the loot probably won't be that good...

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The whole filing sounds more like a roast than a serious legal document. "GIPHY has no proven revenue stream (of any significance)," is another great line. Interestingly, they don't provide any actual statistics, and they cite articles by Vice and Slate as evidence of the decline in popularity of GIFs, as well as a few posts from Twitter (X).

Ryan Broderick, an American internet culture writer, told The Guardian: "Gifs feel extremely dated. They were never easy to make and didn't work particularly well on mobile. So now they are basically the cringe reaction image your millennial boss uses in Slack. Rather than what they used to be, which was a decentralised image type for communicating on blogs and message boards."

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ॐBoyGanesh
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

People who may not be considered sexiest people alive or otherwise unable to get by on being objective for their looks spend their years developing interesting personalities and outstanding character. Apparently.

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Interestingly, at the beginning of the pandemic, GIPHY's popularity actually shot up 33% in one month. But what that probably meant was that your mom, dad, and grandma started communicating through messages and online. Upon discovering GIFs, they were probably the culprits of that popularity rise. That's why even some millennials now think of GIFs as something suitable for 'boomers' only.

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Tempest
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I agree! It’s so fun going grocery shopping with your friends. But then you both come home with double a bill and a bunch of stuff you never needed in the first place.

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Dan Flo
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It was so long ago, capital letters had apparently not been invented yet.

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To be fair, GIFS themselves are as old as Millennials. The inventor of the GIF is Stephen Earl Wilhite, a computer scientist at the then-huge online service CompuServe in 1987. In 2014, the GIF even had its own exhibition in the Museum of the Moving Image in New York. In the '90s and '00s, people used GIFs to breathe more life into their personal websites and social media pages.

Tumblr was actually one of the platforms responsible for the rise of the GIF. Pages like What Should We Call Me were the home of the reaction GIF. People started saving them in separate folders to have reactions to any possible situation. A GIF artist, Matt Semke, told The Atlantic that the year 2007 and Tumblr were the place to be. "This was an art form that was native to the internet. Videos existed in other places; paintings, photos existed in other places. GIFs just didn't exist anywhere until the internet."

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When does a thing become uncool on the Internet? When your mom and dad start liking and doing it, of course. Assistant professor of communication at Syracuse University and the author of books about Internet culture, Whitney Phillips, told Vice that GIFs were once subcultural and niche. "Democratisation creates a sense of disgust with people who consider themselves insiders. That's been central to the process of cultural production online for decades at this point," she explained.

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Ken Beattie
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

One thing I noticed with the local supermarket, they'd introduce a new homebrand product and it'd be a decent price and amazing quality. I'd get hooked on buying it and stop buying the name brand product. I assume a lot of people did the same. Then after a few months of that the name brand product vanishes from shelves, justified because "no one is buying it". After which the quality of the home brand version plummets while the price increases.

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Some people think that people use GIFs in online conversations when they don't really know what to say. They call responding with a GIF “the absence of saying something.” Experts theorize that this might be the reason why the younger generations don't relate to the format. 

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troufaki13
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

To his defense, he was in full combat attire and was fighting for hours before he ran to deliver the news of victory. Also, his name was Efklis. Pfeidipides was the one who ran from Sparta to Athens and back to Sparta (modern day Spartathlon) to ask Athenians for help with the war with Spartans.

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Linda Kaye, a cyberpsychology professor at Edge Hill University, also told Vice that younger people might be more into "personalized content creation." Therefore, they like sharing TikTok videos more than GIFs. "Maybe people are becoming fatigued from over-use of certain ones."

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Penguin Panda Pop
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Get the tattooist to make the 'D' into one half of a book and put the word 'reader' after 'avid'.

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This is the main complaint people who don't like using GIFs have. They're just not personal enough, and they're too lazy. GIF-haters say people who send GIFs just seem boring and not original enough to come up with their own content. And the oversaturation of some just makes people feel GIF fatigue. Be honest, how many times have you seen the one with the blinking double-take guy to express surprise?

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Ken Beattie
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Unless she's just told you she's a member of the KKK or murders puppies and kittens for fun you'd wait till you were off the plane. Breaking up in public... not great but acceptable. They can at least walk away from you (and vice versa) but when you're trapped in a plane next to them? Yikes.

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I have to admit, I've seen people on Twitter (X) and TikTok saying something like "GIFS are cringe" myself. Have I hesitated before sending one to my friends? Maybe once or twice. But I still have a folder in my phone named "Memes" where many popular and some niche reaction gifs reside.

Will I ever stop using GIFs? Probably not. I'll just do it in safer spaces when chatting with my fellow uncool Millennial friends. You can pry the GIF of Homer Simpson slowly backing away into a hedge from my cold, unalive hands!

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Tobias Reaper
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

i was staying with my best friend help her with her little one after she broke up with her partner i had been to her house lots of times but this was the first time had stayed over night and first time i pooped in her toilet i blocked the bloody thing

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Corvus
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I've said it before and I'll sy it again - always having a calculator is not (and will never be) a valid excuse for not knowing basic math.

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Ray Ceeya (RayCeeYa)
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Back in the early 2000s someone invented a device called the TV be Gone. It cycled through all the codes that could turn TVs off for turning off TVs in public spaces.

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Tobias Reaper
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

if you think about it then it means you both either expect to get cheated on or cheat on your partner so you need to some kind of financial incentive to not do it

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Note: this post originally had 50 images. It’s been shortened to the top 45 images based on user votes.