Tossing and turning in my bed late last night a random thought crept into my head: why do we love memes so much? Okay yes, I’m definitely scoring a solid eight on the oddball scale right about now but all that aside, think about it! I mean I’m largely talking to all the millennials out there; guys, we can’t deny that we’re somewhat obsessed with memes. Am I right, or am I right?
If you try to tell me that you’ve never laid eyes on a Michael Jordan or Kim Kardashian crying face meme, or a Kermit the Frog sipping on tea saying something shady meme, or the annoyingly widespread Be Like Bill memes, or Sean Bean stating that ‘one does not simply blah blah blah’ memes, then I advise you to stop, drop and roll buddy, because your pants are definitely on fire right now!
They’re absolutely everywhere; social media is bursting at the seams…with memes! Whenever I log in to Facebook it looks like a nuclear meme bomb exploded and left a meme-like residue splattered across my newsfeed! People tagging their friends left, right and centre all to share and spread that meme-love.
Even at work, we have a tradition whereby every Friday my colleagues and I circulate animal-related memes to one another via mass emails. Yes, on the one hand that sounds extremely sad, but on the other hand, I’d be lying to you if I said that I disliked having photos of fat baby penguins filling up my otherwise mundane inbox. What else are Fridays for?!
And then we get to Whatsapp. I lose count of the number of memes that are sent back and forth on a daily basis within my group chats. I’ll happen upon one randomly and think OMG THAT’S SO TRUE and screenshot and pass it on to my nearest and dearest to enjoy and share my sentiments.
Memes have a way of bringing people together and that’s pretty awesome. They let us know that we have a lot more in common with one another than we may sometimes feel; they’re relatable and thus reassuring. It’s like bonding over deep song lyrics I guess, or finding out that you share the same favourite dessert with someone (okay, maybe that one’s just me!).
All in all they provide instant gratification, comedic value, require a minimal effort to comprehend and can occasionally be quite informative. Plus they’re real, sometimes arguably too real, but nonetheless we love them for that reason. An iconic image teamed with a current, bold and witty caption, what’s not to love?!
And they cover pretty much every relevant topic in this day and age: cute animals, childhood reminiscing, napping/being lazy, social awkwardness, exes, student life, dating, gym, coffee, office etiquette, makeup, dieting, friendships, quarter life crises, drinking, haircuts, sports, DJ Khaled, relationships, being broke, politics, chicken nuggets, babies, celebrities! They reflect popular culture and the society that we live in to a T.
And in a world that can seem so divided and overly sensitive, memes inject a much needed element of humour into our day-to-day lives. Furthermore, I say anything that’s capable of making you laugh, or even just smile, can never be a bad thing! So to all of those Christmas and New Years memes that will no doubt break the internet in the weeks to come, I eagerly anticipate your arrival. Bring it on. 😀