Meme Culture Has Become Our Second Language

Izzy Rivera

Staff Writer

irivera1@umassd.edu

In the year 2021, memes have become the way our generation responds to life events. Whether they be catastrophic or everyday things, everyone has a meme response to represent how they feel. If I say to you “What if I told you…” or “One does not simply…” a certain set of images, voice tones, and situations will pop into your head. Isn’t this concept really interesting if you pull back and look at it? That you could potentially say these lines to someone you just met and they will get your reference? Memes have become the inside joke the world gets, and sharing inside jokes is how people become closer to one another.

As a generation, this is how we bond, this is how we express ourselves. Our age group seems to have a difficult time communicating more difficult topics to one another, and sometimes I myself will receive meme’s from friends sourced out of Tik Tok or Instagram explaining how their feeling, and of course we get a chuckle in but then it’s a conversation starter that they didn’t know how to say. I have even seen now and been a part of “meme sharing circles”, where friends will hang out together and just share whatever they find for hours on end, and that will be how they hang out for the day.

You can find in stores badges and pins to put on your jackets or bags that have old and new memes on them, making them marketable to anyone who has seen them. There’s even a party card game called “What Do You Meme?” that you can buy expansion packs for, where players match photo cards with caption cards to create the funniest and most clever memes. 

It’s quite interesting how largely this culture grew and at the rate it did, including how companies picked up on it to create a monetary value.  People use this outlet to express political views, morals, ideas, and emotions all while playing the edge of comedy, seeing how far people can push things. Of course one has to acknowledge that every good thing has a bad sad, and that sometimes things can become offensive, and that’s a line everyone has to play on. For the most part though it can be seen that memes are used by peers to be relatable, understood, or to start a conversation about something. We have all seen that cringe moment where our parents try to use memes to relate to us, sometimes they are comedy gold, others not so much. 

Everyone should take a crack at making memes, just to send them to people and start a conversation, maybe even make one viral and get the world in on the secret joke. Memes are arguably our second language at this point and connect people from all across the world. Go browse through some on Google, I promise you won’t be disappointed. 

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