Memes are beautiful things. They are funny and can brighten anyone's day. They have gone viral and have become something that people see on a daily basis from social media to apps that are dedicated to showing us memes. There are a lot of memes out in the world today because it's been a huge thing for quite sometime now. To see one of your memes being shared by your friends to others is a sense of pride that all meme artist want to feel. However nowadays, not all memes are ethical or will put a smile on people's faces. Nowadays people make memes of things that shouldn't be taken lightly or made jokes of. So, why do they make us feel this way and what are some reactions by others that see them?
A lot of people find memes funny because it shows people messing up and usually ends with them hurting themselves. Others are funny because they over exaggerate things that happened in recent events and use it as a way to kind of way to break the ice. For example, you can talk to someone about the way the Super Bowl this year had a blank commercial, and show them one of the already thousands of memes about it as a gateway to a relationship. Good memes are funny and can draw attention to people. One meme that went big was called the “Overly Obsessive Girlfriend”. She made little funny puns and jokes that pertained to a face she made and uploaded it to the internet. Obviously, people found it funny too as the picture went viral. What some people didn’t expect was that along the way, people started putting their own captions making it funnier and more popular because people were trying to see all of the different adaptations. Funny Memes are harmless and, in a way, bring us together.
The memes that don't put a smile on people's faces tend to be more offensive. These are offensive to some because they contain things that aren't ethical. Some depict images of terrorist attacks, or making fun of kids that are autistic. Some of these memes will often make rude remarks about genders, equality, terrorist events/attacks, public shootings, birth defects, attacking religion, and countless more. These are the ones that mainly get backlash by the media. Recently, students at Harvard University have been called out for a private group chat where they shared offensive memes containing pedophilia, school shootings, the holocaust, and many more. 10-12 people were kicked out of Harvard when the private group chat was discovered by the University (Harry Shukman). Many students attending the university agreed with its actions because the memes found in the group chat were extremely offensive. One of the memes depicted a racial and suicidal joke that had a mexican kid commiting suicide in a school bathroom and using his body as a piñata.(Caroline Najjar). Memes like this are harmful, and create divisions between people.
Since many people are taking advantage of memes and using them for bad, but what if there were people that used memes to spread goodness and motivation? There are people like that still in the world; they are a little hard to find but they are still there. Motivational memes can help someone change their life for the better. They can help us realize things, push us to do something, or make us feel better about ourselves. In the blog, The Okayest Mom the author, a mother of three boys, suffers from anxiety attacks. She writes about how she was surfing the internet when her friend sent her a meme that said “feelings are just visitors. Let them come and go.”This was said by Mooji, a spiritual teacher in Jamaica. Melissa, the author of Okayest Mom, started to say how she took this to heart and it reassured her that all those feelings she was going through wouldn't stay with her all the time. She goes on to say that by repeating these words and doing little exercises she “was actually able to stop a full-blown anxiety attack in its tracks.”(A Meme That). All this started because of a meme, and because of this meme, she was able to focus on the three boys she loves so much and not so much on the negative feelings she carries with her. Sometimes memes may be seen as dumb and useless, but what this scenario shows is that memes do not always have to fall into that category. There are positive uses for memes and they can actually help people through rough times.
Memes are not for everyone. Some think that memes are just people wasting their time because they aren't funny. Though this may be partly true for some memes, it doesn't apply to every meme we come across. As I said before you don't want to stereotype memes into the humor category. There are different types of memes out like the motivational memes that I explained before. These feelings they leave you with are why meme artist do what they do. Sure they might not be purposely trying to make you mad, even though some may try to, but they want you to be able to feel amusement at what they made.