Media commentators have allocated ample time and blog space to bemoaning the death of the attention span. "In modern culture, we consume content in ever more digestible bits," they point out as though this were a bad thing. Two hour films become one hour television shows become ten minute YouTube videos become six second Vines become animated GIFs; this is something to celebrate, not mourn. Lately, GIFs specifically have been a favorite target of those who can’t get with these fast-paced times. As your Facebook timelines well know, BuzzFeed has arisen as the champion of GIF culture, and the Internet has followed their lead, embracing the GIF. Haters argue that lists of GIFs substituting for actual text is a modern tragedy. Lamentations of the death of journalism, the death of writing, and the death of culture have been directed at the GIF. The weight of our cultural decline has been placed squarely on the GIF’s shoulders.
I am compelled to offer a contrary opinion. The GIF should rise to prominence as the dominant American art form. In fact, the GIF is the perfect artistic expression for this epoch. Furthermore, the novel should be phased out. Like pagers and Blockbuster Video, novels are now obsolete. These fat, wordy tomes provide practically nothing to the modern man that can’t be gleaned from a solid animated GIF. Here are 10 Reasons GIFs Should Replace the Novel.