Memes have become a large part of our culture both online and offline. When overhearing conversations, I find myself hearing references to memes that I never thought I would hear offline. Over the course of the last decade memes have become so integral to society that companies themselves have been using memes to become ‘hip’.
However, there should always be a time and place to use these memes, and lately it has become harder and harder to avoid memes in professional settings. Society should look at themselves critically when applying memes to the day to day life.
The 2016 primary election was a turning point in American history, yet it was rife with memes. When we look back at the election, society tends to focus on the presidential candidates applying memes to try and relate to society. What we should be hearing is what these candidates will be doing for America, not videos of Hillary dabbing. Ask anyone and they will say that there was no room for memes in the election. People want to hear about what is important, not about what memes they know about.
Memes can evolve over time. There are instances where something serious can be called a meme much later but in a way it can take away from what was important at the time. Unfortunately, 9/11 has turned into a meme to some. It did not start like that at first, but over the years the catastrophic event that killed thousands had slowly devolved into a meme that people can laugh and joke about.
It could have devolved into a meme in order to cope with the direction America went after 9/11, but at the end of the day it will not take away from the fact that people died that day. Maybe it cannot be avoided to completely devoid ourselves of memes, but they should not become the focus of something as serious as a presidential election or something that started a war.
Slowly it is becoming more socially acceptable to apply memes when there should be no need for them. Perhaps it is impossible to avoid the usage or creation of memes and this is a new phase that the newer generations are starting. But there should still be a conscious effort to take things seriously when the time calls for it instead of making everything out to be a joke.