You’ve heard of “Pinfail”? Pinterest items that look oh so good, but work out oh so bad? That’s because everyone has a fancy camera and access to photoshop. Check out my experience this morning. On the left is what these banana oatmeal cookies are supposed to look like (since when does baked banana look yellow?!). I purposely left off the recipe to keep you from making the same mistake that I did–believing a photo and text.
On the right is what I came up with. They taste much worse than they look. too. I was suckered, but no more.
I’ve decided we also need to acknowledge “Meme-fail”—those moving quotes and self-affirmation in cutesy fonts over photos that, when you really think about it, are some of the worst bits of advice out there. Unfortunately we get suckered into believing trite bits of philosophy and squishy motivations.
Memes are addicting, I know. I’ve tried my hand at a few just for fun, and something empowering happens when you see text on photos.
Suddenly it seems real, official, sanctioned, stamped-of-approval, God likes it so it MUST be true!
The problem is, nearly any idiot can create them (I submit, for your consideration, me. If I can figure it out, anyone can). Many of these idiots don’t understand punctuation or spelling, thus propagating the myth that they aren’t necessary because these “real, official, sanctioned” nuggets of crapology don’t use them correctly, therefore we don’t need to bother with grammar either.
But that’s a rant for another day. Today I present just a few of the memes I’ve collected that fail to be worth the space they hoard on Facebook and Pinterest. Not only are they potentially dangerous, they’re potentially stupid-fying.
The “Unrealistic Expectations” category
The cool fake-chalk writing aside, what this really means is, “Always set yourself up to expect far too much.”
What kind of “wonderful” should I believe will happen when I go grocery shopping? That someone ahead of me will pick up my $150 tab? And when that doesn’t happen, how do I face the rest of the day?
Something “wonderful” should happen when I changed a dirty diaper? When I cook dinner? When I pull weeds? If I’m expecting something “wonderful” to happen at any moment, I’m going to be hopelessly depressed at the end of what was probably a very ordinary and perfectly lovely day.
I don’t need to throw myself into despondency, thank you. Memes in the category below do that already for me.
The “Look at me!” category, for those who never quite outgrew grade school affirmations.
Ugh—the very definition of narcissism. This must have been taken from the t-shirt of a self-absorbed teenager. If you have a friend who posts this, run far away. While I can think of several ulterior meanings to this, the implication is: I’m really quite perfect as I am. You should love me for my amazingness. What, you don’t feel perfect right now? Oh dear, must be hard to feel like you have to improve yourself . . .
The “I have no idea what life is really like” category.
I once had a freshman student from Japan. On the second day of school he informed me he was withdrawing and going back home. Why? Our small private liberal arts college was nothing like the American movies he saw in Japan. He truly expected life would be a party.
People who believe this are also the same depressed ones who think something “wonderful” is about to happen just down the road. No wonder many people start drinking in college . . .
The “Dangerous thinking” category
Uh, but what if something needs to be fixed? Attended to? Resolved? Pondered over? Just let it go, dude?
Why do I picture a hippie with smoke rising faintly from different orifices when I read this?
The “Pointless philosophy” category
The “Worst love advice” category
I have two for this one, because there are so, so many of these. Likely based on sappy love songs that never quite make any sense, the first is so schmaltzy it isn’t worth the post-it note it allegedly was written on.
This second one–well, you just know she owns a t-shirt that claims she loves who she’s becoming. I doubt with this much self-love there’s little room for anyone else.
To be honest, I hadn’t the foggiest idea who Carrie Bradshaw is. So I Googled her. Turns out she’s been googled, along with a few other strange things, because she’s a “Sex and the City” character. I can’t think of a worse place to get one’s love advice.
Memes–the scary part of these is that people perceive these bits of advice to be true. Reality and thought don’t even enter in. We see a clever font, a charming photo, and we assume that equates TRUTH (yes, capital letters, because so many memes like those, too). This deception of text combined with image likely explains why my five-year-old loved this one:
(Sorry the image is small. It says, “The trouble with quotes on the internet is that you never know whether or not they are genuine.)
“That’s Abraham Lincoln!” my daughter squealed. “We learned about him in kindergarten! He’s a good guy. That’s why he likes Star Wars.”
Now I fear that Abraham Lincoln and Star Wars will be forever connected in her little mind, all because a meme told her so.
Got any memes that make you scratch your head? Send them to me. I still have so many, I’ll be doing another post of them, and I’d love to add yours. Remember–a meme is a terrible thing to waste.