meme’s the word

meme about memes

On October 5, 2015, my life changed. This is the day I made my first meme. Whether this change has been for the better or the worse remains to be seen, but the fact is: I am now a mere shadow of my former self. I used to think of myself as a writer, a blogger, an essayist, and even an author. And now?

I make memes.

Here is the facebook post where it all started:

What is a meme? This is a philosophical question indeed. It’s basically a collection of words meant to be funny or inspirational arranged into an image that can be shared on facebook or other forms of social media. Sometimes (as in the case of the one above) they are born as tweets then grow into memes with the assistance of design sites like Canva and PicMonkey. These sites help people, even those who are as technically challenged as me, pretend to be graphic designers.

In the world of humor bloggers, memes are a way of sharing comical quips in a quick, visual fashion. It’s like one-joke stand-up, except without the live audience, and without the potential to get hit with rotten tomatoes by real-life hecklers. The worst that usually happens is crickets a.k.a. internet silence (a.k.a. a devastating dearth of likes, comments, and shares.)

Most importantly, it’s a way to build followers and get your brilliance out there. It’s also a way to get sucked into a big, gaping hole of words and statistics and obsessive number-tracking that distracts you from writing long-form – you know, those things called paragraphs? – the whole reason you got into this gig in the first place?

In some ways, I arrived at the meme party late, but I immediately began to see that this was my kind of place. That meme above about the whistle was shared over 100 times. That felt good. So I continued to make more:

parenting memes

And then some more…

more parenting memes

Yeah, so I’ve been cranking out memes like my life depended on it. Recently, I started to wonder if I should ease up, re-focus, take a break. I thought: maybe instead of meme-ing I should actually get up off my couch, go for a run, and pay my bills from last month. Maybe I should try to write something of substance. Then I made just…one…more…meme.

For some reason, this one got shared over 350 times. As a result, my number of facebook followers doubled in the course of 24 hours. In fact, this is happening to other meme-rs all over the internet all the time with numbers far higher than this. Right now, a clever and pithy meme is getting passed around the planet. I bet just this second, there’s a meme riding a rocket ship to the moon!

Needless to say, I was reeled back in. And now I’m chasing that high again like some kind of delirious, chuckling meme addict. What’s the secret? The font? The image? Straight-up luck? I’ll probably never know. But I’ll probably keep trying. And I have no shame about this. I figure there are worse things than laughing and trying to elicit laughter from others.

And, in fact, my favorite aspect of memes is seeing what so many other talented writers are coming up with in this form. For example…

Toni from Is it Bedtime Yet?:

Carrie from Carrie On Y’All:

Morgan from Rookie Mommy Raising Boys:

Liz from Zoe vs the Universe:

Jennifer from The Runaway Mama:

Mary from Outmanned:

Karen from The 21st Century SAHM:

Nicole from Suburban Shitshow:

Hilarious, right? Their other writings are even better, so check them out.

The bottom line here is that there’s no shame in the meme game. And? If you see a meme, share a meme. Okay, I’m going to write an essay now. *

*make a meme.

For more memes and other attempts at parenting humor, follow along on facebook and twitter.

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