On Memes and the internet

Memes go bad...
When they aren’t true - It’s frustrating when things are passed around that aren’t true. Lies are the enemy of truth. Christian or not we should be people about truth. Social media being what it is means ideas can spread fast. This means good or bad true or untrue they all spread fast. A quick check of Snopes if something seems too incredible, is not that much to ask. Don’t just read, believe, and repost.

When they are smug - The overall tone of many memes is smug or worse still self righteous. At worst they dichotomise opinion, identifying the reader/liker/re-poster as a “goodie” in the narrative. In debate smugness is neither constructive or loving.

When you do it all the time - Please don’t be one of these people. People aren’t just an endless stream of memes and you shouldn’t be either. Better to post a few carefully chosen pieces rather than endlessly bombard people’s Newsfeeds with spam.

Memes are good when they...
Are actually funny or original - If you’re not a good judge of this then it’s probably best to avoid re-posting.

Challenging and thoughtful - I like to write challenging things, and I like it when other people challenge my ideas. This often helps me to think more deeply about issues, people, politics and the world.

You think of others before re-posting - I’d call this one the smugness test. Calling to mind a bunch of friends before posting something is a helpful check to see if what you’re doing is just destructive and alienating to the relationships you have.

Accurately reflect shared culture and experience - This is essentially the heart of what a meme is. This means friends will actually get your joke. If it’s obscure it’s less likely to be successful.

Look nice - In the world of the Internet aesthetics is becoming more and more important. There is already enough ugly things in the world without you sharing another one. I realise the word "nice" is very subjective. I’m referring a quality picture and readable font. Note also the irony of some memes that intentionally subvert this requirement.

*Picture is from one of my favorite Memes. See here for an explanation.



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