Friday, April 5, 2013

Choosy Migraineurs Stay Away From GIFs

I have a love/hate relationship with gifs. On the one hand, they can be incredibly funny, clever, and even poignant and can capture moments or feelings so perfectly that I can't help but adore their usage in online discourse. They can add color, context and depth to plain text conversations.

BUT. Gifs flicker, they move at unpredictable speeds, depending on connection quality, and they trigger all kinds of migraine ickiness, usually starting within a few seconds of exposure.

I admit, I tolerate the resulting nausea and disorientation, dizziness and irritability far more than I should. I'm just so easily entertained, I can't help myself, often until it's too late. Cats running into boxes! Silly moments from Star Trek! Kids doing the darnedest things! It's impossible to look away, until of course, my stomach lurches and my eyes feel like they're trying to cross or fly out of my skull.

However, when I do get an early warning twinge and have the wherewithal to step away from the Firefly gif thread, I can simply hit the esc key, and in most instances the gifs on the page freeze immediately. As soon as the visual stimulation stops, I can actually feel my brain relax; my vision feels clearer, my mood lightens and any barfiness starts to lift.

So, I'll never post gifs here, and I've been hemming and hawing over acquiring myself a tumblr because I'm already getting enough exposure without diving into the deep end, but I continue to dabble, because entertainment trumps all, I suppose.