Opinion: Masking trying times with memes


Graphic by Abi Wilson '20

Marcus Boddy '20, Staff Writer

Memes. Typically, a meme is a funny picture and an interesting punchline, but recently, they have become more than just Internet jokes. Memes are the newest form of art; a subculture in its own right. They are a method of communication, just like any other, and with the new standard for “social distancing” in light of the coronavirus quarantine, an Internet meme may also be a medium to trade information in addition to laughs.
Memes have many different setups. Usually, images or short video loops called “gifs” of pop culture references set the stage of the meme. Then, there is usually some text on the screen that connects the message of the meme to the image in a funny or interesting way. Memes can cover a wide variety of topics and emotions, depending on what the creator wants to discuss through a meme.
For some, the creation of memes is an outlet to cope with the present events. Personally, I think that creating memes as a coping mechanism is understandable and fairly creative. Sometimes, people need to find a way to handle these trying times– creating funny memes may be the activity some need to get their minds off the stress.
Not all memes are well-informed or necessarily correct, however. It’s still the Internet, which means not everything available to read or watch is true. I always take everything I see with a grain of salt because sometimes, a meme is trying to convince the watcher rather than inform. It is similar to reading fake or incorrect stories and watching fake videos on the Internet– being skeptical is a good trait to have. I think it’s responsible to question anything and everything you see on the Internet, and memes are included.
Overall, memes are a unique medium that people use as a source of creativity and communication. They don’t have to be, and are not always, true, just like any other corner of the Internet. It can be fun to create memes and share them with friends and family as a way to handle stress. Memes are a relatively new way to express opinions and thoughts, and I am certain that they can be a great benefactor to anyone, as long as they are careful with the potential disinformation they might come across.