Friday, August 17, 2012

Maddening Memes

For goodness sakes, will you all step away from Photoshop, Paint, Textgram, Instagram and any other program or app for just a sec? Please? Because if I look at one more of these silly memes, I'm going to scream.

They're everywhere. On Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and even old school email as forwards. Liberals, conservatives, Christians and atheists are spreading them about quicker than a group of seventh graders playing Spin The Bottle spreads mono.

I'm so sick of them cluttering up my News Feed. In between cutie pie pictures of my friends' babies and puppies is Mitt Romney. Joe Biden. Kim Kardashian. And quite interestingly, Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka, who has been simultaneously schleping for Gay marriage, traditional marriage, Obama, Romney, theists, deists, atheists, capitalism and socialism. There's a whole lot going on in that factory.

What really annoys me as how those who support whatever issue posts them and then bows to rapid applause from fellow believers. Anyone who disagrees is shouted down, disliked and electronically shamed for not seeing the clear and obvious truth of six bulleted lines of "wisdom". Then all the supporters high-five each other like those jocks from Valley against the Bayside Tigers on "Saved By The Bell".

Ahem, I *really* don't know why that episode popped into my head while writing this. I might have a problem. No, I'm sure I do. Anyway, what they may not realize is that 99% of these memes fail to do is actually explain more than just 1% of whatever issue. So most on the outside are left confused, enraged or like me, often indifferent. Which means they're really not doing much but sending out those corny high-fives.

Sometimes, they're not even doing that, though. Marc Barnes of Bad Catholic has dismantled two memes lately, here and here. That second one with the flowchart really made me roll my eyes. Especially since many of my FB friends who passed it around are Christians. That chart, like nearly all these tiresome memes, paints with such a broad brush. So you think St. Paul's teachings are applicable for today's Christian? Go rot you hateful stump of a person! Meh. Funny thing is, scrolling through Marc's combox, some supporters of Gay Marriage even found that one to be a royal fail.

I'll admit, I've been guilty of sharing these things, too, and hitting "Like" on many more. I don't think memes, in and of themselves are bad. But like reality shows, skinny jeans and Kim Kardashian, they can be used for much evil.

If you are getting all your talking points from these things, you're in trouble.  By their very nature of being mostly photos and 15-22 point font, they aren't going to provide much real info. Also, they're coming from one side and are purposely biased. Before you pass it forward, remember all this. Also remember that not all your "friends" or "followers" are on team Valley. They might be high-fiving Zack and Kelly wearing burgundy and gray. And that's okay.

Meanwhile, I'll be like Liz Lemon, high-fiving a million angels.  


One Man's Adrenaline said...

Make no mistake...the internet is a mob for cowards. The internet and memes exploit individuals, organziations, process loopholes, and insecurities in everything and everyone. My perspective is that we shouldnt be surprised about what comes from the internet. places like twitter, products like memes, etc. are really for those kinds of people who can "stomach" the humor. this is believe it or not the beauty that freedom of speech has to offer..with it being only one extreme of the measure. I personally like the memes and have the app to download them daily. most of the time i find offensive material to me as a black man, a Christian, a father, or a businessman. But im ok with that kind of exposure. the perspectives are never anything new...and like all sarcasm there is some truth built in. Ultimately its humor...however tasteless, dry, or offensive. but the truth is im exploring their world not helps me to stay up to date and relative. As a Christian it challenges me to keep hard questions at the forefront, as well as develop thick skin towards aggressive and sarcastic opinions towards topics that involve me. i suppose what im saying is that id rather have the sarcastic truth than live in denile (out of sight out of mind)...and if you look past the damage you'll find some beauties in the freedom of speech. one thing is for sure...nothing is more terrifying, offensive, or damaging than the truth.

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