Updated: Sep 15, 2020
I couldn't think of what I wanted to write about next.
So I took to social media, to let some ideas bubble around naturally, and see Covid-19 memes popping up every few posts.
Jokey posts like "throw-back-thursday" tagged over a photo of a supermarket shelf fully stocked with loo roll.
They make me smile, memes. I like tagging someone I don't see often in one, like hey, this thing made me smile, and I like you, and think you will like this thing too. Wholesome. No social capital required from the other person. The perfect low-energy interaction.
It feels like the digital equivalent of pointing out a squirrel in the park with a friend. That feeling of, hey, look at that!
And, well, social gatherings have been banned for the foreseeable future. Suddenly, the option of going to visit friends that we don't see often has been taken away. Having the option there, knowing that I could go see them, or knowing when I would next be with them, dulled the ache of missing them. Now we are compelled to stay isolated, I feel a strange sense of loss that has no end in sight.
And so today, seeing a meme that brings a smile to my face, and tagging a friend, felt pretty great. Cause I can't go see them, can't walk with them and be there. But I could still share a smile. And that's kinda great.
Memes have been there for us ('us' being my particular circle of left-wing 20-somethings) during some stressful social changes.
A quick Google provided academic articles with delightful titles such as:
"Reddit on Brexit: meme-ology and humour in leave/remain discourses";
"Analysis of Facebook meme groups used during the 2016 US presidential election",
Maybe I'm just aching to focus on the lighter side of this all. Maybe this bizarre time is making me appreciate the chances for a brief smile even more. Maybe that's okay.
Send some more memes to your community. Reach out, be dumb. Memes bring us closer. They strengthen those ties of understanding and shared experience. I can't really believe I am writing so earnestly about memes. What is happening?
I...I think I saw a meme that explained the nuance of memes, why they work and why they can reinforce a sense of community. Someone has literally already explained this for me. What a time to be alive. Truly a work of art
On a vaguely related note, this screenshot is from the 'Two Bros' vine (watch it here). The guy that filmed it is named Anthony Padilla. He films informal interview videos with individuals from different social groups (otherkin , asexuals , emos) that are funny, lighthearted and actually kind of informative