I’m going to be a bad millennial by writing this article, but I’m pretty good at being a bad millennial, so I’m cool with it.
For the record, if you’re under 35, you’re still classified as a millennial. Sorry, 34 year olds.
This is something I’ve been thinking about for awhile now though, and I might be the only one who’s considered it, but I think it’s an important topic to bring up.
If you spend even 1 second a day on social media, you probably see a collection of posts that are funny memes – maybe it’s a melting snowman walking into work on Monday, or one of the gazillion photos of Kermit sipping his tea over something that’s “none of his business.”
Regardless of what the meme is, someone has probably posted it and said “Me.” as their addition to the conversation.
“Me.” “This is me.” “Mood.”
My problem with it, is this:
This is a super lazy way of expressing thoughts that aren’t even yours. Yes, it’s cute and funny and probably makes people smile when they see it, but that credit goes to the person who created the meme as an arguable new-school form of ‘art’ that people can relate to. Saying “me” adds no value and really doesn’t tell us anything about you.
You’re probably rolling your eyes right now because I’m way overthinking this and it’s just social media, after all…right?
In 2017, can we really still make the argument that it’s “just social media”? I think not. Social media is the #1 way that the majority of us connect with the world. We connect with hundreds, thousands, or millions of people all at once through social media every single day, and in many instances, it’s the only (or primary) way you might even communicate with certain people.
We are living in the first time during human history where each and every single one of us has an unlimited amount of broadcasting potential. This website has been read by over 37 million people – do you know how? Through sharing on social media. Do you think it would’ve been read if I’d just shared other people’s thoughts and said “Me.”? I doubt it.
So, my point is that we are taking this ability to connect with (literally) millions of people, and squandering it by simply sharing quick, funny images that are mostly strictly entertainment value. Sure, it’s fun sometimes, but it tells the world nothing about who YOU are, except that you find the same meme funny that 2,364,951 other people shared.
Sooner than later, all we are going to see of each other is recirculated shares of the same images and videos that reflect ideas of people we don’t even know. Younger generations are growing up with this being the norm and as it continues, “real life” conversations are simply going to be about things we see on the internet (they already are), and not about our OWN individual thoughts and ideas. In a society so focused on individuality, we are all just sharing the same things as everyone else.
What are your passions? Your opinions on world issues? Your stance on human interaction and relationships? What are the unique, revolutionary ideas that run through your mind every day? We can use what was once a platform to play stupid Candy Crush nonsense or Solitaire games, to share deep, meaningful ideas that just might change the world. Or, we can share another cat video.
I’m not saying every post online has to be some existential dissertation, but you are a thoughtful person with meaningful ideas and strong emotions. You are so much more than a meme or a .gif – but are you expressing it?
Add value. Spark conversation. Express thoughts. Connect with other people. Change the world.
You have the power – if you’re willing to use it.