This goes back to this date back in 2013. Must have got out of bed the wrong side.

*****

I’m going to make a few enemies here, I suspect. I’m in a clear minority as regards Facebook.

If you want to be really fatuous, it’s extremely easy. Just follow these simple instructions.

  1. Go to this website: http://www.memecenter.com/
  2. Create a meme
  3. Post it on Facebook

Easypeasy lemonsqueezy. Takes all of two minutes.

Jane Austen once wrote, ‘It is a fact universally acknowledged that 99% of memes are fatuous.’ Didn’t she write that? Oh, it must have been me then. But it’s true. The vast majority of memes are fatuous. Or they’re anodyne. Most of the rest are simply pointless. And most are paradoxically dangerous.

I have an extremely low boredom threshold for pictures of sunsets/rivers/forests (or a river in a forest at sunset) with some inspirational quote along the lines of ‘If we were all nicer the world would be a better place.’ Mahatma Gandhi was undoubtedly a clever, sophisticated, peaceful statesman. Good on him. Buddha was similarly peaceful. Fine. But I really do not want some bored overweight hick thinking that they will change the world by sitting at a keyboard and posting quotes from these people.

Listen carefully to what I’m about to say. It doesn’t work like that. Pictures of flowers and birds do not alter the way the world works. The world gets altered by means that are more subtle than that, or a great deal less subtle. Memes fall in the middle ground, and besides being largely crashingly boring are actually dangerous. They are so pointless, yet create an impression of change that has not occurred. The person posting a meme may feel nice and warm and fuzzy, and the reader (if it’s not me) might feel nice and warm and fuzzy, but absolutely nothing has changed.

If something is exercising you, don’t post a meme and think you’ve done your bit for world peace or to abolish Third World debt, because you haven’t. Get off your bum and do something active and positive, make sure you vote, lobby a politician, set up an action group. Do something instead of just posting a meme.

I might also add here that there is a very clear, and very low, limit to the number of times I can see that bloody Grumpy Cat apparently saying something that is allegedly funny before I start chucking rocks at the monitor and taking to the streets with a crate of Molotov cocktails.

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