During her nightly commutes, Angie’s best friend would usually be her handy dandy rectangular device. Staying up late the night before, sleep now threatened to capture her resolve. Her eyelids were beginning to droop, a yawn escaping her lips. Still, she had to manage the nightly commute from home to her daughter’s university to pick her up. It’s almost ten in the evening – way past their bedtime, but the mother and daughter waited at the side of the road, hoping to see a glimpse of their rare ride.
A series of droll photos posted in each of Angie and her daughter’s social media accounts kept them company. Patiently waiting for the last jeepney to arrive, they gave each of the photos their corresponding voiceovers – sometimes doubling over in laughter. It was a simple moment, but the smile in their lips and the humor in their eyes brought about by these so-called memes certainly took the sleepiness away.
Scrolling through social media accounts invokes a lot of emotions; one of them is regularly felt and shared – merriment. With the number of humorous posts nowadays, from hilarious videos and entertaining photos, it is no doubt that this jovial spirit is a product of the people’s desire to include humor in their everyday lives despite the teething troubles. Apart from being lighthearted though, memes are viewed by people at different angles. It can be the voice of society in expressing themselves in social and political matters, or just the perfect tool to completely forget about it.
“Memes show how we see language as the basis of intelligence. The latest most satisfactory meme would be “tuloy ang kaso” memes. It made people truly aware of the other side of the coin,” Ms. Josephine Famoso, an Art Appreciation professor at Ateneo de Davao University, explained.
Undeniably, one can’t scroll through their Facebook or Twitter feed without seeing these comical posts. Hilarious social media accounts rose to cater the public demand in producing memes that are relatable and funny; a classic example of which is AdDU Memes.
“We create and share memes to simply spark joy and laughter among Ateneans and other netizens. We want to break the tension by providing memes to the community on a regular basis given the heavy atmosphere surrounding academics, extracurricular activities or other non-academic issues around the campuses,” AdDU Memes’ admin expressed.
Unconsciously, the memes produced and constantly shared among social media platforms have greatly impacted the general users. Because people see these types of posts on a regular basis, it easily leaves a mark compared to the regular official news that are broadcasted in television. It certainly is the easiest venue for the general public in formulating opinions for themselves on certain issues and events.
“Memes are socially relevant as they adjust to the current trends and issues, catering to the audience every time. People have become socially aware of different issues in the community through political memes,” AdDU Memes claimed.
Admittedly, most of the memes shared are accompanied with humor, yet some of the content of these posts are also satirical. This then begs the question, will the act of generating and sharing these memes produce a socially aware community or a lethargic one? While finding these posts hilarious and relatable are seemingly normal, acting indifferent because an action need not be demonstrated is becoming an equally stressing problem. As such, while the utilization of memes does bring a smile in our faces, it cannot be said true in invoking and providing substantial deeds amongst us.
Being a part of the internet world where everything circulates and is being recycled, these memes enjoyed by the general public have also become a platform to oppress and devalue other people’s worth.
“There are cases when memes offend a person or a community, therefore it has its disadvantage. In particular, [you have] the case of “you are road” girl. The memes about her circulated and are used as a means of bullying her,” Famoso explained.
As different social occurrences happen, more and more memes are bound to be created. Memes themselves took the general public by a storm, creating a joint community whose experiences can be said similar just by looking and sharing the photos that hit home. However, just because these memes are relatable to the social media users doesn’t mean that the bigger issue is to be forgotten. Sometimes, it is wise to share these posts to invoke action from others— actions that are substantial and sustainable. Finding a post to be relatable and funny is fleeting; yet, consequences, whether good or bad, can be lasting.
“A meme on the internet doesn’t just end at becoming a meme, it will give birth to a series of chain reactions which will either cause vexations to others if not properly handled or give people hope in restoring humanity. As such, memes can change the perspective of a person on things and can influence their way of thinking. So, think before you share,” Famoso stressed.