Memes as a Force for Social Change or Just Empty Jokes?

The experience of creating a meme was an interesting one.  I had never created a meme before but I found the template to be fairly intuitive and easy to use, which explains why these memes that have an easy template and great potential for variety become so popular and omnipresent in many internet communities.

My meme didn’t really gain any traction and only two academic figures, Professor Taub included, liked it on Twitter. This doesn’t surprise me, however, as I don’t use my Twitter for anything except academic work and therefore I don’t have many followers nor am I following many people.

In regards to different variations, I feel like if I had posted it on my Facebook, it would have gathered a lot of engagement as I am fairly active on that platform. From what I saw, pretty much everyone in the class didn’t get a huge amount of engagement, but I could be missing some that did, in fact, take off.

I feel like certain memes lend themselves better to conveying serious social commentary than others. Serious may be the wrong word, however, as the goal of memes is to make people laugh and therefore it seems like the goal of social commentary memes would be to make people both laugh and think, or laugh while learning, much like a lot of political comedy.

Overall, the platform of memes being used in an attempt to create social change seems like one that can be successful. One website where this is particularly prevalent is Imgur, an image sharing site.

When I was active on there, I saw a lot of memes that actually conveyed an interesting and noteworthy message being the ones that got upvoted the most. The platform has promise, but it won’t work with every meme and picking and choosing which should be used well is going to be key to its success.

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