A GIF for all occasions… Brits turn to tech to talk feelings

March 11, 2022
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87% Brits find it easier to express their emotions using technology than in person


Nationwide project launched by Samsung to document a new digital dictionary of self-expression

  • Nationwide emotional ‘audit’ reveals that people display up to seven different emotions a day – many of which we convey to friends and family via tech
  • 87% of all adults and 90% of 18-35-year-olds now find it easier to express emotions via tech – indeed 10% of adults have ended a relationship via technology
  • Research reveals we spend the equivalent of 3 full days of a year feeling angry and 5 days full feeling joy + the average British adult will laugh 2,412 times in a year
  • Campaign marks the launch of the Samsung Galaxy GIF Project which aims to curate the lexicon of human expression – led by Vyvyan Evans, PHD and Professor of Linguistics
  • British actor Lucien Laviscount stars in a new film celebrating the 35th anniversary of the GIF
  • Public encouraged to visit the ‘Galaxy GIF Project’ at Samsung KX in London to create and record expressions and emotions in GIF format
  • Campaign commissioned to launch the Galaxy S22 smartphone series, featuring Nightography which takes ultra-high-quality photos and videos in low-light conditions


British adults often feel more comfortable communicating via technology than face to face – that’s the verdict of a new study released today which suggests that a seismic shift has taken place in how we express our emotions within a generation


The study reveals that 87% of British adults admit that they find it easier to express themselves using technology via emojis, memes and GIFS than in person. The findings named the humble GIF as the communication format of choice for 90% of 18–35-year-olds in the UK when expressing themselves. The format which is 35 years old this year, allows people to share animated or static picture files with friends which summarise how they are feeling at any given point in time.


The study of 3,000 British adults aged 18-65 was commissioned by Samsung in a bid to determine how technology has changed the way in which we communicate and express emotion. The research team looked at how we communicate emotionally in 2022 and the emotions we go experience on a daily basis to provide a fascinating snapshot of how the nation feels and communicates.


The findings revealed that over a third (35%) of Brits say they send an emoji, meme or gif to celebrate their favourite football or other sports team winning.


Almost as many – 34 per cent – ping a picture from their phone when they feel awkward rather than trying to talk or write about their feelings.


Over three in ten – 31 per cent fire off flirty images to love interests while 23 per cent turn to tech during arguments instead of trying to talk through their differences.


And one in ten would even dump a partner using a GIF from their gadget than end their relationship face-to-face.


The study suggests that we experience a rollercoaster of emotions on a daily basis; on average we get angry four times a day, laugh seven times a day and cry at least three times a week. The research revealed that Brits spend an average of 11.5 minutes every day feeling angry equating to three full days over the course of a year. On the flipside we feel happiness or joy on average 20 minutes of the day, leading to five full joyful days over the course of a year.


With over 10 billion GIFs in circulation and over 2 million sent each day, the study suggests the GIF has become a pivotal format in the way we now communicate and express ourselves with 81 per cent of all respondents using the format on a regular basis. Indeed, Brits said they send up to four GIFs a day, and 82% of the nation have used GIFs and memes to communicate or express their emotions on social media or via instant messaging services such as WhatsApp.


The most common daily emotions we express via our tech were cited as happiness (69%), love (57%), amusement (52%), stress (41%), excitement (38%), anger (35%) and sadness (34%).


The research revealed that 84% Brits believe that technological developments, such a GIFs, have made a positive impact, enabling humans to express themselves better than ever before.


But for those aged 45-65 GIFs are lost in translation – one in four (44%) admitted to lacking the confidence in how to use them appropriately

Samsung commissioned the study as part of the ‘The Samsung Galaxy GIF Project’ which aims to chart the full spectrum of human expression. The study spearheaded by Professor Vyvyan Evans, PHD of Linguistics marks the launch of the new flagship Galaxy S22 series and aims to prove that humans can now convey more emotions than any other time in history.


To launch The Samsung Galaxy GIF Project, Emily in Paris star Lucien Laviscount was challenged to convey as many human emotions as possible within a single one shot 60 second take.


In the film which was shot entirely on the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, Lucien portrays a range of emotions, from anguish to elation, in an incredible feat of facial gymnastics and acting prowess. The actor who has previously starred in Waterloo Road and Coronation Street, managed to convey 31 different emotions and expressions in just 60 seconds.


The British public are being invited to contribute to the national project and visit Samsung KX in London, King’s Cross to record and submit their own GIFs, which will form part of Professor Evans’ research.


A special ‘Galaxy GIF Project’ experience has been created inside Samsung KX, featuring both ‘light’ and ‘night’ stations, enabling people to shoot GIFs that capture a full range of emotions.


The content will be captured on the Galaxy S22 Ultra that comes with new Nightography features, which make photo a video content pop even in the dark.


Actor, Lucien Laviscount, said:Being challenged to show a full spectrum of emotions in 60 seconds was quite an experience! Visual expressions we create can speak a thousand words, which is why GIFs can often show how we feel in the best way. Everyone loves a cheeky GIF once in a while!


Professor Vyvyan Evans, PhD said: “Since the advent of the smartphone human communication has changed immeasurably.

“GIFs, memes and emojis are the “language” of the internet, and have become the bedrock of popular culture, fundamentally transforming how we communicate with people on a daily basis. Emotions and feelings can now be conveyed instantly to others in a single powerful visual.


“‘The Galaxy GIF Project’ has been launched to prove that, due to technology, humans can now more readily express and identify more emotions than at any other time in history”.


Ashrita Seshadri, Head of Brand Marketing, Samsung UK, said: “From instant messaging to social media, technology has given us a multitude of tools to express how we feel and visual messages such as GIFs let us animate our personalities and emotions. We welcome the British public to be part of our research programme and to shoot their own GIFs, expressing emotions using the new Samsung Galaxy S22”.


Galaxy S22 and S22+ introduce dynamic cameras with advanced intelligent image processing to make every moment epic. Built with a bold design and sustainable materials, Galaxy S22 and S22+ are designed to be both beautiful and environmentally responsible. With the Galaxy S22 series’ revolutionary new Nightography features – like the 23% larger sensor than S21 and S21+ and Adaptive Pixel technology – the camera is designed to let in more light, draw out details, and capture colours that make your content pop, even in the dark[1].


‘The Galaxy GIF Project’ at Samsung KX is open to members of the public free of charge.    


The new Samsung Galaxy S22 range and Galaxy Tab S8 Series are available now on Samsung.com and all major retailers. For added convenience, guests can also take advantage of the Click & Collect service, plus be rewarded for their purchases with KXtras.


For more information on ‘The Galaxy GIF Project’ visit: https://www.samsung.com/uk/explore/kings-cross/creativity/how-to-create-a-gif-using-galaxy-s22-ultra/  


[1] Adaptive Pixel only works with high resolution photos, not at basic resolution.


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