This weekend, I had a deeply surreal experience – probably top of my list of strange internet experiences so far. A friend shared a post, and so it appeared in my newsfeed on facebook, as I browsed on Saturday morning. As I looked, I reconised the picture. I had taken it. It was from an LCWO post from December 2017. It was a photo of my thumb and fingers holding a ridiculous tiny plastic comb, fresh out of a cracker, in front of an Xmas tree. It has been used, unbeknownst to me, to create a meme calling for a boycott of Xmas crackers. And it has been shared over 85,000 times.
The original post from whence the image came, does not call for a boycott of Xmas crackers – rather, it calls for a boycott of shop-bought plastic-filled crackers, and gives a quick how-to explaining how to make your own. You can read it here: https://www.lowcarbonwestoxford.org.uk/news/no-need-bin-junk-make-christmas-crackers-keep/
What I learnt from the experience:
- Things you put on the internet can travel far, and once they are on there, they have their own life, which you may have no idea about
- Unsurprisingly, people are not keen on the messaging of ‘boycott Xmas crackers’ which sadly, was put with the image by the person who made the meme; suggesting people give up something traditional is not likely to win fans, and a much more persuasive message would aim to empower people to pursue/explore an alternative, rather than throw the baby out with the bathwater. I will create an alternative meme using the same photo but instead linking to a ‘how to’ instead, and see how far that travels!
- That small plastic comb is an eyebrow comb, and apparently I should really have got a manicure – I’m clearly not ready to be an influencer, but am still considering changing the spelling of my name to ‘meme’.
- I have internationally famous fingers – see them too at the next LCWO meeting or event – they will be tree planting on November 24th, and at the LCWO AGM on January 16th.
Please share the origianl post and please share this image to out-meme the meme!