Having operated computers since the early nineties, I considered myself, at 62, to be fairly proficient. However, my first introduction to memes was through my grown, and very tech-savvy daughter. I had often heard her use that term, and finally asked her one day what it meant. After giving me a simple explanation, she then proceeded to show me examples, beginning with this one.
From then on, she began sharing bits of the a Internet culture that were commonplace to her generation, but unfamiliar to mine, from satire and cartoons, to you-tube videos, and web series, including anime. Suddenly, I was a trans-generational Internet aficionado. I even tried my hand at creating a few memes of my own.
This past August, I got my first iPhone, and began downloading app after app, and creating reams of memes. I discovered WordPress, and launched into this, my first-ever blog. Then, at Christmas, my daughter bought me an iPad Air, and I was suddenly unleashed by the large size of the tablet, as compared with the tiny iPhone screen I had been using for my creative endeavors. My insomnia grew worse (no surprise), as I blogged and meme-ed my way into the wee hours, night after night. My list of blog followers recently reached 170, and I was floating, blissfully, on Cloud 9.
Yet, that did not prevent me from having a rather rude awakening the other day. My daughter and I were sitting at the kitchen table, and I was bombarding her with my latest meme creations. Always supportive of one another, she has been of invaluable assistance to me, offering me great suggestions on my posts for this blog. I often sent memes to her at night, during our mutual bouts of insomnia, and she’d send back smiley-faces or “LOL’s.” So, I was not expecting her reaction, when she suddenly started singing a meme-insult to me, to the tune of Making Fiends.
“Mom, your memes are not funny!” she joked. “Really?” I asked, completely stunned. “You mean, you’ve been lying to me all this time?”
“Yes, Mom. Your memes are NOT funny. They’re not even memes!” “Really? Really? They’re not funny? None of them are funny?” I kept asking, incredulously, as we both laughed.
She then proceeded to look up several sites for me to examine, as examples of the “real McCoy.” But, I honestly couldn’t (and still can’t) figure out what elusive element existed in those memes that didn’t exist in mine. I was perplexed and momentarily chagrined.
But, my disappointment quickly disappeared, when I remembered the fun I’d been having creating all my little “meme pals.” So what, if I have to lose out on the enjoyment of a favorable reaction to my little creations. I love creating them, and I feel a real fondness for each one, after it springs forth out of my sleep-deprived insomniac mind. (And, I know I’ve seen and heard little chuckles escape from her, when she didn’t know I was looking. Or, were those just “sympathy chuckles”?)
So, I’ll just go on, excitedly “meme-ing” (or “captioning, as my daughter calls it) my way through my solitary night vigils, happy as a clam. (Oh, I just thought about the fate of the poor little oysters in one of my favorite poems, “The Walrus and the Carpenter”, by Lewis Carroll.)
“O Oysters,” said the Carpenter, “You’ve had a pleasant run!”