Memes – Ugh!

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Memes are interesting to me. They can be funny. They can be satirical. They can be inspiring. They can be truthful or not. To be honest, for the most part, I don’t like memes. I prefer to read ones personal thoughts and experiences, but if they do use a meme, I would like to know why or how it relates to the individual. I like this meme because it demonstrates my point. Anyone can combine a photograph and a thought to create a meme.

An Internet meme is a concept or idea that spreads “virally” from one person to another via the Internet. An Internet meme could be anything from an image to an email or video file; however, the most common meme is an image of a person or animal with a funny or witty caption. The proliferation of social media has led to Internet memes spreading very quickly and reaching more people. – Vangie Beal (Webopedia)

When I was younger, in the late 60’s/ early 70’s, the closest thing to a meme was a poster. Yes, I remember the posters of Jimi Hendrix, Raquel Welch, and others. At that time, you had to buy the poster to take it home with you. Memes are now free, they are abundant, and they seem to have a very short “shelf-life” unlike a poster (I’m not advocating the return of posters).

I happen to be in love with a “meme serial poster”! In our list of compatibilities, this may be one of very few things we might not agree. As we have talked about the things she post on Facebook, it is clear to me, her intent is to encourage someone; to express her faith; or to express her political beliefs. I can not fault her for those things. And I don’t fault others for expressing their beliefs either. Whether I agree with what is said or not, as a American citizen, you have the freedom to express yourself.

Here is an example, I saw this meme the other day:

“To be clear, we are are not anti police. We are anti police brutality. Your inability to separate the two is equally problematic.”

I am in full agreement about being anti police brutality! I guess my problem is that I can not separate the two statements when nine police officers have died and well over 100 officers (400?) have been injured during the last six weeks due to riots. The person/organization that wrote this, may not be anti police, but as a thinking person, it sure seems to me that there are those in our society that are anti police based upon evidence.

One of my biggest problems with memes is that most people just pass them on without thinking about the content. We have the ability to research a great number of subject for the truth. It’s not like when we had to go to the library to find a book or encyclopedia, which could take a lot of time. Even though you can’t believe everything that is on the internet, we should be able to sift through the dirt to find the truth. If I created a meme that said, “100 Killer Whales Washed Up In Oklahoma City, OK!” and I had a photo of a killer whale laying at the waters edge, there would be those who would quickly share the meme adding “It’s the Republicans /Democrats Fault!!” They would never connect that Oklahoma City, OK is in the center of the continental United States and we are 1,500 miles from an ocean and we do not even have 100 killer whales in our zoos/aquariums.

So what do I hope to get out of writing this post? Perhaps we might slow down for just a second and THINK about what we post and ask ourselves if what we are about to post is:

T=- is it True?,

H= is it Helpful?,

I= is it Inspiring?,

N= is it Necessary?,

K=is it Kind?

I don’t know who created this acrostic, but I think there is wisdom in it and I think it would make a great meme!

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