Living Through Memes

I’ve been looking back through my Facebook “memories” lately, and if there’s one thing I learned, it’s that I now live much more in the meme than I did before.

Time was, I made posts about what my husband and I were doing, what was happening with our cats, meals we’d cooked, and how I felt. I even had a series of posts – “Who the Hell Cares” Headline of the Day, Stupidest Headline of the Day (So Far), and a few other labels.

Now I don’t bother.

It may be because I didn’t get much response to the things I posted, though that may be attributable to how few Facebook friends I had back in the day as compared to now. It may be because I studiously avoided posting anything political or religious, topics sure to invite controversy and responses. Cute kitten pictures was about as socially conscious as I got.

Once I tried to make my own memes to promote my blogs. I didn’t really know how to make memes and tried to do them in Powerpoint, which didn’t really work all that well. I’m sure now there’s some kind of meme creator program that everyone but me knows about.

Another problem with my self-made memes was that they weren’t short and punchy. I tried to mine my blogs for content, but all I came up with were long sentences with lots of punctuation, things like “Children’s literature crafted with imagination can free the spirit in adults as well as children. It’s something we all need.” I even accompanied that one with a photo of a book and some imaginative children’s toys – dragon, spaceship. But it wasn’t snappy. It wasn’t memorable. 

Here’s another one, which I didn’t even have a picture for: “The mind and body and soul are inextricably intertwined. We know this to be true. Depression affects them all.” Then just my name and the address of my blog. Wordy. Unmemorable.

I’m not sure I could do much better now. My blogs resist mining for gems of wisdom. And I still don’t know how to construct not-very-good memes in Powerpoint or any other program.

Besides, there are lots of memes that resonate with me and are already there for me to like and pass along.

“If art is how we decorate space, music is how we decorate time.”

Or political or social justice memes that I am no longer so shy about having on my own timeline:

While you’re worried about the “bad apples”

We’re wary of the roots

Because no healthy tree

Naturally bears strange fruit

That is brilliant. It’s a whole poem, conveys an important message, and contains an allusion to “Strange Fruit,” which was a Billie Holiday song about lynchings. No photo or fancy artwork even needed. Just the words, sufficient to think about, expressed succinctly and cleverly.

I do comment on other people’s blog posts and even get into conversations with them. I post links to my blog to Facebook and any appropriate groups I belong to. People like or comment on the memes I post and sometimes even pass them along themselves, especially now that I’ve somewhat gotten over my avoidance of political and social justice memes. (I mean, if Ted Nugent can share his opinions on politics, why shouldn’t I?)

Perhaps I shouldn’t worry about only passing along others’ content instead of creating my own memes. I have plenty of other stuff to do online, like writing my two blogs, and offline, like the novel I’m writing that I haven’t gotten back to in quite a while. (I sometimes wonder if I should abandon this blog, which doesn’t have what you’d call a large following, to work on that instead. But I digress.)

There’s something satisfying to my soul about the blogging and the novel in a way that creating memes just doesn’t have. Still, perhaps I should share more about my life than pictures of my adorable cats. On the other hand, that’s giving the people what they really want.

Comments always welcome!

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