To meme or not to meme?Introverts on the internet
That is the really important question I hope to answer here.
Spoiler alert! (highlight the next line to see “spoiler”)
I chose to meme.
Why the meme?
Why not? Using images to convey complex subjects in a funny way will, hopefully, never get old. I hope you enjoy my memes.
I chose to create 3 different memes, using the following templates: Steven Crowder’s “Change My Mind” Campus Sign, Woman Yelling at a Cat and Galaxy Brain. I made the memes directly related to photography and I related them to my audience of photography beginners through text selection
As Patrick Davison (2012) mentions in The Language of Internet Memes “the ‘ideal’ of a meme is the … idea conveyed” by the meme (p. 123). The Galaxy Brain meme says that it is smarter to use a MetaBones V adapter instead of waiting or spending money buying glass, when switching from Canon to Sony gear.
The Steven Crowder’s “Change My Mind” Campus Sign meme conveys that creativity matters more in photography than the equipment.
The Woman Yelling at a Cat meme says that Sigma Art lenses, – which are 50% less in price – are just as good as first party lenses, like Canon L or Sony GM lenses.
The ‘behaviors’ of memes are their “varied sets of practices” (Davison, 2012, p. 130). For all 3 of these memes, the typical ‘behavior’ is taking the pre-existing photo and substituting different text and then sharing the meme online.
These memes all had different histories of infamy. The most recent, the Woman Yelling at a Cat meme became popular in mid-June of this year (Know Your Meme). It originated from a “a screen cap of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast members Taylor Armstrong and Kyle Richards” which was included in a Dec. 6, 2011 Daily Mail article. The picture of the confused-looking cat sitting behind a dinner plate was posted on Tumblr by user deadbefordeath on June 19, 2018. It was first used in its meme format on Twitter by user @lc28_ on May 2 after which it was posted on the Reddit /r/memes subreddit (Know Your Meme).
The Steven Crowder’s “Change My Mind” Campus Sign meme originated after podcaster Steven Crowder tweeted a photo of himself sitting at a table with a sign that said “Male privilege is a myth / Change my mind.” After he shared the image in Feb. 2018 people started editing different signs on the table. The meme spread widely after it was shared on the /r/dankmemes subreddit (Know Your Meme).
The Galaxy Brain meme was originally part of the “Whomst” meme, which was popularized on the /r/dankmemes subreddit. It started getting really popular in late Jan. 2017 and as it grew, the format got more varied and sophisticated (Know Your Meme).
What are the “manifestations” of your chosen memes, and how are they different from other possible manifestations?
Meme ‘manifestations’ are the memes’ individual replicated elements (Davison, 2012, p. 130). The main parts of all 3 memes mostly stay the same but the text element changes in each manifestation. Other manifestations include the use of Vince McMahon Reaction or Drake Explosion meme instead of the Galaxy Brain; changing the person behind the table in the Steven Crowder’s “Change My Mind” Campus Sign meme; and using different art styles, putting the characters in different situations and more for the Woman Yelling at a Cat meme (Know Your Meme).
While the specific manifestations I have chosen don’t directly appeal to my audience, the context and manifestation changes with different text. All 3 of the memes can be reused to further spread photography tips or advice through humor. The language of internet memes appeals to many and if humor helps others learn, then so be it. Let me memes take over!
Send me your favorite photography memes by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or reaching out on social media.
As always, send us any questions you have about photography or any suggestion on what we should focus on in the next blog post, YouTube video or podcast.
All images except those cited below are the property of Alexander Lewis and Alex Lewis Media and Alexander Lewis Photography, All Rights Reserved.
Davison, Patrick. (2012). The Language of Internet Memes. NYU Press.
Know Your Meme (various pages).
For all meme templates: Creative Commons Attribution license (creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)