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The dark side of social media memes

dark-side-kermit-meme

Social MediaOpinions

When a meme goes too far, it needs to be stopped immediately.

Ah, social media. A magical place where people connect through stories, ideas, and memes.

This is where we share our life stories, our art forms, and videos of our 12-month-old niece wrestling a tabby cat. Or share adorable baby seal videos with our friends, just to elicit a laugh or two.

However, a recent series of rude memes that publicly shames someone's physical appearance has convinced why we can't have nice things on the Internet. 

rude-meme
THIS IS THE MOST UNFUNNY MEME I HAVE SEEN IN AWHILE.
PHOTO CREDIT: SIZZLE

The meme generally features an unflattering image of someone, or someone that is not conventionally attractive, that compels you to tag a friend. This act is usually seen as an insulting joke towards the person who is tagged in the meme, and it is usually followed by rude and obnoxious comments.

While I personally enjoy a good meme every once in awhile, seeing my friends on Facebook taking part in disseminating these images made me sick to my stomach.

Not only was it completely ridiculous and unnecessary, it was not the slightest bit funny. All I could think of was: "How cheap could anybody's humour be to find this even remotely amusing?"

facepalm-meme
MY ACTUAL REACTION WHEN I SAW THOSE MEMES ON ALL OVER SOCIAL MEDIA.
PHOTO CREDIT: MEME GENERATOR

It is fairly easy to forget that the picture you are staring at on Facebook is an actual person somewhere in the world. We are guarded by our computer and smartphone screens, completely oblivious to the harm we may actually cause.

Motivational speaker Lizzie Velasquez, who suffers from neonatal progeroid syndrome, a rare disease that affects her eyes, heart, bones and weight, was one of the people victimised by such memes.

After seeing the memes being circulated on the Internet, she wrote: "I ask that you keep in mind the next time you see a viral meme of a random stranger. At the time you might find it hilarious but the human in the photo is probably feeling the exact opposite."

lizzie-velasquez
LIZZIE VELASQUEZ IS AN ADMIRABLE FORCE, STANDING STRONG AGAINST ONLINE BULLIES.
PHOTO CREDIT: LIZZIE VELASQUEZ

Some people may probably say it is all in good fun, and that it is simply a joke that should not be taken seriously.

Imagine if you were the joke.

Try to picture yourself scrolling through your Facebook feed or Twitter timeline, only to discover that millions of people on the Internet are making fun of you.

Now, read the comments posted under the memes and take it as if they were being referred to you. Not very funny now, is it?

sharing-with-friends-memes
THE NEXT TIME YOU DECIDE TO SHARE SOMETHING ON SOCIAL MEDIA,
THINK ABOUT THE PEOPLE AFFECTED AND HOW IT REFLECTS ON YOU.
PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTH.SG/NURUL AMIRAH BTE SAMSUDIN 

Let us all keep in mind that shaming someone's physical appearance online says more about ourselves than the person who is being humiliated.

Perhaps, the people who shared and took part in creating those memes should be shamed instead.

I, for one, would not want to be tagged in a post associated with someone like that. #shade

BANNER PHOTO CREDIT: MEME GENERATOR
TEASER PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTH.SG/AZRA RAUFF