Savanna Rayment discusses one of the most important features of the millennial life: memes
A typical Tuesday evening. I’m at home, scrolling down Instagram. Between pictures of family dogs and political protests, there are photos that have been created to share complex experiences in both amusing and tragic ways. These are memes: graphics that have come to define the way we express our feelings, opinions, and humor in a world where technology seems to make it both easier and harder to do than ever before.
Memes have seeped into every aspect of my daily life. My Facebook timeline is full of memes, shared by friends and family, from vast corners of the internet. We’ve come far from a time when it was just pictures of cats saying something funny or your mum sharing images of minions talking about wine. Most now border on the edge of post-modernist philosophy, with some being more universally cohesive than others, and some that call on absurdism in such a new and challenging way they make us reconsider the nature of art.
At my job, memes are an easy and relatable way to create targeted content that makes our audience feel like a part of the club. And we’re not special, almost all brands with a social media presence these days pump out original or reposted memes to seem more relatable to their market. Memes are no longer just to laugh over with your friends, they’re big business.
I have been approached, more than once, with the mention of my meme use. It has somewhat come to define my personality to those who may or may not know me in real life, and I know others for whom memes play a huge role in their lives and humor. This huge culture of meme creators and curators provides a really interesting insight into the struggles people face and what they are or aren’t willing to say without the aid of a comical or ironic façade. If it allows people to connect, it is providing a service that is lacking in any other form of internet communication.
Memes are here to stay. In a world where more and more of our communication and entertainment takes place online, they are a fast way to tell a story when we refuse to read a thousand words.