Pareidolia: A GIF Story for Frivolous Friday

Warning: Some of the GIFs are flashy.

Frivolous Fridays are the Orbit bloggers’ excuse to post about fun things we care a lot about that may not necessarily have serious implications for politics or social justice. Although any day is a good day to write about our passions outside of social issues, we sometimes have a hard time giving ourselves permission to do that. This is our way of encouraging each other to take a break from serious topics and have some fun.

Let’s make faces together!

Once upon a time, people communicated with faces, and sometimes gestures, but not words.


It was intuitive, but limited, in its way.

Then, we changed over to verbal communication.

We could express more and still had tone and facial expression to help.

Verbal became written.

We could express even more to more people, but without faces, we were more likely to be misunderstood.

Written became mass-distributed.

Distribution became easier and easier.

Yet the written still lent itself to misunderstanding.

Then came the UI, an AI face we could talk to.

But it wasn’t the most like the faces we had always used, and it could confuse us to the point of frustration.

So the AI’s UI-face started to move more.

And then it let us touch it.

And it changed to be more like the faces with expressions that we knew.

Not all attempts were successful.

But they got better and better.

And here we are, back to faces. Selfies, Emoji, face to face.

Making faces is always what mattered.

Even hiding a face tells us something that matters.

Faces to make us feel more alive.

What it looks like always mattered and always will.

Pareidolia: the psychological phenomenon involving a stimulus wherein the mind perceives a familiar pattern of something where none actually exists.

We see faces.

Fewer words, more images.

Show, don’t tell…

…as the advice to writers – writers, of all people! – goes.


The future, like the past, is written in faces.

It always was, and will always be, the faces that mattered.

Pareidolia: A GIF Story for Frivolous Friday

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