Sunday, September 26, 2021

Memes: A Distraction And Reflection Of Our Lives

By: Dylan Stone/Senior Writer

In our current digital lives, there is an abundance of memes. For anyone who may not know, memes are just images created to make you laugh. The subject matter of these memes ranges from simple things such as the letter E, to things that have deeper meanings that require background information to even remotely understand the context of the image.

Pictures that are stupid, such as the ‘E’ meme and images that have been ‘microwaved’ are often referred to as ‘millennial’ humor and, for the most part, are only considered funny for their sheer randomness and the confusion it creates. However, some of the best memes tend to be the ones that can see as more or less relatable and current with social issues or topics in our actual everyday lives beyond our networking lives. The most recent examples of this could be seen in the recent political falling out between the US and Iran, as well as the Australian wild fires, and now, the coronavirus. All of which are worrying in similar, but yet different ways. Referring to the Iranian conflict, we saw the emergence of “World War Three” memes. All of which were involving the either the draft of American youth/young adults, or how the war would be. Most of which were references to well known video games such as ‘Fortnite’ and ‘Call of Duty.’

While all of them were unrealistic and meant simply to make people laugh, there was something to be said about the actual chance of a draft and the unsettling feeling it could impose in our lives. This is the secondary purpose of memes: the ability to dilute a serious topic into one that is easy to laugh about and deal with. It is very similar to previous generations use of political cartoons to satirically point out issues or certain social topics, just in a form that younger generations can easily view and share.

‘Memes’ are not by any means a new thing either; we’ve seen this reflection of real emotion and feeling for quite a while. Some, while they may not be excessively old, are references to things as old as the biblical creation of earth and the beginning of man, or if you are an atheist, the evolution of man. However, they all have one thing in common: cynicism.

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Kimberly Davenport
Kimberly Davenport grew up in Montrose, Pennsylvania. She currently teaches English and digital journalism at Blue Ridge High School, and is the adviser for the school's online newspaper, the Raider Reader. Kimberly loves traveling, spending time with her family (especially her grandchildren), and can often be found reading a good book.


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