What exactly is the true purpose of a Meme? To be honest with you? I haven’t a clue, since the use of them within the social media arena has caused everything from a few laughs. To some seriously pissed of people. So, before I continue. Here is what appears to be the common definition of the word and its use.
- an element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by non-genetic means, especially imitation.
- a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc. that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users.
With that in mind. Let us take a look at a few examples. And since the latest craze seems to be the Philippine political arena. Our samples will be related to the category.
The above three are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Filipino meme scene. With everything from some well intended designs, as in the far right image. To some of the worst cut-and-paste shit you’ll ever come across. In fact. One group in Facebook, recently banned one of their members for going seriously overboard with his use of memes. As well as attacking a number of the other members and commentators.
The other problem facing the use of these silly images. Is the person posting this shit, practically demands his readers believe whatever he posts, to be the God’s gospel. In a near insulting manner. It’s as if he firmly believes his viewers to not only be stupid. But to remain stupid. Sadly, a number of commentators respond as if they actually do believe what they have either read or seen. Thus, confirming the stupidity theory.
Which leads me to the type meme I shall refer to as the informative or educational graphic. These images have been attacked by a number of people within the political groups and pages, as being memes. Yet, many of the administrators of these groups have already defined them as anything but a meme. Some Admins have even found them to be of a very informative nature.
Rather than providing a momentary laugh or two. As do most memes. These images are designed to inform the readers. By giving very insightful information in a very small area. The readers now become more intrigued by what has been presented to them.
Many times these designs have been used as legitimate postings, all by themselves. And if strategically used as a comment. They can be a powerful weapon. While many commentators simply use text. Others have used a meme or two in a vain attempt to get their voice heard. Suddenly. Out of the blue, comes one of these informative images. And the entire post can take a new direction or approach.
And now we move on to the last type of meme. And my personal favorite. The kind of meme that one can use to say how they feel about the postings or the posters themselves. These images are simply photos that have had text inserted in a manner that can either ask a question. Make a point. Or slap someone across the face. These images also have the dubious distinction of sitting in the grey area of, is it, or it not a meme? The following sample. In most cases. Will not be seen as a meme, because the text is not on the photo itself. But rather a black box below.
Once again. this has a number of readers screaming at the admins to have these images removed. And the person banned. My personal experience has shown that, in true Filipino form. These sad individuals are simply terrified of the truth. And believe that by removing the image. The problem simply goes away. Sorry folks. You’re simply sweeping the problem under the rug.
And eventually, like the political upheaval in your country, the dust pile under the rug. Becomes a lump big enough for you to trip over. And fall flat on your face.