I’m feeling a bit nostalgic. I miss the good ole days. You remember the good ole days, right? Back when the smoke monster was still rampaging the island. Back when Myspace still mattered, a little. Back when a status update was a phrase or two about your day or your life or even a bit of advice you found helpful.
Well, those days are dead. A new day is on the horizon. Nostalgia just took a swift kick to the unit. I logged on to my Facebook social media machine some time ago and found my news feed had been hijacked. Oh no, I hadn’t been hacked. It was something far more sinister than a simple loss of account control. It was the Meme. There were colorful boxes of various sizes filled with text and graphics and photos of every imaginable form. Each one bent on filling my brain with useless crap while stomping nostalgia to dust.
They are colorful. They are inspirational. They are self-deprecating. They are silly. They are sassy. They are sarcastic. They are ridiculous and cookie-cutter and they are someone else’s cleverness. They are irritating and they are clogging up my bid for a virtual friendship.
Back in the day, I could log on and find out in a sentence or two what’s going on in the lives of my friend list. This was great for us, living outside of the United States where calling can be pricey and internet signal is sketchy. Now, however, I find that nothing is happening in anyone’s life save they have perused the interwebs and found THE cutest virtual bumper sticker to illustrate their mood. Instead of being able to catch up I find myself trying to figure out what the adorable kitten caught in a fishing net has to do with my burly friend, the long distance truck driver.
I logged on a couple of weeks ago and found on my opening home page the same graphic meme shared as the status of four (4) people in a row. Four folks felt that this bit of imagery was so accurate in its depiction of their current status that it must be shared. To my knowledge, these people don’t know each other. Meme Command Control just orchestrated it to slash my spirit. I immediately clicked open a new tab and spent the next hour searching for the perfect block of color and text to communicate how much this bothers me. I couldn’t possibly just write “Memes bother me” as my status.
If the repetitive meme episode wasn’t bad enough, Meme HQ set in motion another attempt to destroy my faith in social media. I logged in to “catch up” and found three users have dominated the feed for what seems like days. I scrolled through approximately 9000 feet of screen space. These folks were updating their status with a meme share every 3.26 seconds. My feed was a wasteland where the meme, like a digital bunny rabbit, was reproducing at an alarming rate.
That’s not the worst. These people do know each other so they were also sharing the memes from the other two perpetrators. Mile after mile of meme-tastic graphics in packets of three. WooHoo! It was the old school equivalent of the bubblegum pink, metallic scrolling sign of puffy fonts on MySpace.
This isn’t communication. It’s a hybrid form of pseudo-data distribution called “commun-stipation.” (pronounced: Cah myoon sti payshun) It looks like we’re sharing something of value but really we’re just clogging up the system.
Here are two solutions to the dilemma. A cyber-laxative so to speak to restart the flow of meaningful human interaction.
- Rename Facebook to MemeBook. Then, offer a small variety of these graphic goodies from which to select. Maybe fifty per month on rotation. It could be broken down into categories. Ten for Christians, ten sarcastic, ten “hang in there,” ten inspirational, ten edgy, gritty. Pick what kind of social media lemmings you want to be, click, and run off the nearest cyber cliff.
- Keep Facebook but limit the use of the cyber-cliché to three(3) per user per month with absolutely no repeats. Eliminate the share button on Memes. This would require social media users to be social again.
Tell me about your trip to the symposium on making your own organic fertilizer. Post a photo of your kid falling in some injurious but hilarious way. Take the time to formulate a real status that actually lets us, your friends, know what is going on in your corner of the world. But for goodness sake stop mindlessly clicking the share button. They call these things viral for a reason.
just to go with this instead of writing how I feel———————–>
Have you used a meme? If so, why do you hate the internet?