On Memes

Posted on Wednesday, February 19th, 2020 at 11:09 am

I’ve had a thing cooking in the back of my head for a while and it began with a simple, one-liner that I think I may have put in a Tweet.

“Memes are a lazy way to make your argument.”

I read a Medium Post on the subject of memes today and it again brought this to the front of my brain as some friend’s Facebook posts have also done in the past couple of weeks.

Memes are effective and they do work. They can’t, in a single shot, change a person’t view 180 degrees. However, it can take something that you would find horrifying, marry it to something you find appeal in or fear, and cause you to embrace it.

A meme, however, isn’t a rational appeal. It’s an appeal to emotion – argumentum ad passiones, and that, my friends is a fallacy. It originates in marketing and advertising designed to make us want things that are bad for us and buy things we have no need of. It is influence without a thought for well being.

It is manipulation.

So, please, stop with your memes. I will not like them. I will not comment on them except to say, “please stop.” I certainly will not repost them. I may, if they are frequent enough, unfollow you for a time so as to avoid having to cast my gaze in their direction.

I love you, but boundaries.

Some of the things you’d never say in conversation, you’d post in a meme for the world to see.