As a person who spends most of their time on the internet (for both pleasure and profit, thank you very much), I am, as one might expect, rather intimately acquainted with the business of memes. You know, like, the ones about Drake. The ones not about Drake. I have also seen ones about Harambe, unfortunately, though I would prefer to not talk about that right now.
Now, I would never “meme-splain” anything to anyone–this being, perhaps, the corniest conflation of words to ever exist, first of all–because people who try to get all pedantic with memes are generally not people who radiate a ton of light and life, but spending so much time on the internet has also taught me that most people don’t really understand how memes work. And that’s okay! You don’t have to understand memes to be a valuable member of society! Also, just because I know about memes, this does not mean that I actually understand them! I don’t think anyone truly understands memes, really, except for a select few people who were born between 1997-2001 and run popular Vine channels and/or intersectional feminism meme accounts on Instagram. Memes are descriptive, not prescriptive–meaning that there is no “right” and “wrong” but rather a shifting set of ways that they are used–and thus, anyone who assumes that they are right and other people are wrong when it comes to memes will be wrong themselves soon enough.
But there are some (adorable, usually) examples of people who don’t get memes at all. Check them out here:
1. See? Adorable:
I'm going to cry pic.twitter.com/N2YyICYwkt
— TOM (@tomwalkerisgood) September 6, 2016
2. Uh, pause. Not adorable:
4. Honestly? Facebook memes are very much where it’s at:
5. Especially if you like extremely NSFW Garfield and/or Minions memes:
6. And ones that encourage you to delete your FAcebook account? I don’t know:
7. I don’t even want to mention the “alt right” here, but…who could ignore this, honestly:
— Cameron JM Clark (@CameronJMClark) September 13, 2016
8. Of course, many people have capitalized upon the inherently hilarious aesthetic of bad memes in order to create memes that seem like they were done by someone who doesn’t know what they were doing–but, in fact, do:
9. Meaning that it is difficult to identify a truly “bad” meme:
10. And one that just mimics a bad meme:
11. I don’t know. It doesn’t matter, though, in many ways, this has led to my favorite type of meme–“wholesome” memes:
I got added to a secret meme Facebook page last month and the wholesome memes are the only reason I haven't left yet pic.twitter.com/tZdHbpLAEX
— Maya Kosoff (@mekosoff) September 12, 2016
12. As well as the cringeworthy usage of memes. In the political arena:
wow. such obamacare funding. oppose ted cruz. pic.twitter.com/bIgXNNpimi
— Rep. Steve Stockman (@StockmanSenate) December 23, 2013
— Dr. Jill Stein (@DrJillStein) August 28, 2016
14. Even in the wrong hands, memes are a powerful force. Be careful with them!
15. Anyway. Here’s a palate cleanser:
What do you think about these “memes?” Which ones were your favorite? Let us know in the comments!