Sneaky Memes

/meem/ n. [coined by analogy with `gene’, by Richard Dawkins] An idea considered as a replicator, esp. with the connotation that memes parasitize people into propagating them much as viruses do.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/meme

I’d never even heard the term meme until I got a Facebook account, but they certainly are like parasites. More and more I’ve seen people post “quotes” on Facebook that are 180 degrees out from what you’d expect a particular famous person to say, at least in public, and yet people believe these quotes because they were pasted over that person’s photograph. You’re looking right at them. You’re reading the words, so they must have said them, right? Especially if you see quotation marks in there. But speaking from experience, if you do a little bit of checking, in most cases if it doesn’t seem true, it isn’t.

 gandhi fake quote

(This will probably go viral. I’m going to hell.)

Another sneaky way to use these memes to get your point across is by using a cute photo to get people’s attention. Which of these would make you vote for Hitler? Well, hopefully neither one, but hey, that puppy is awfully cute!

cute puppy Adolfnazi destruction meme

(Puppy photo credit: http://www.fanpop.com)

And you can also twist things around to scare people away from a certain belief.

 Death meme

(Photo credit: http://www.bubblews.com)

What it boils down to, basically, is that people will believe what they want to believe, or at the very least, what they refuse to take the time to question. In this age of ever increasing paranoia, we will have to learn to be more skeptical, and, for the love of GOD, more RESPONSIBLE about what we put out there for the world to see.

3 thoughts on “Sneaky Memes

  1. Carole Lewis

    The worst part of it all is that so many people glance at the words, think “that’s neat” and repost and forward on to the masses. I am bombarded daily with negative messages, especially on our government, gun control and The President. No one is exempt. People I love are just as guilty as strangers. I sometimes feel powerless. So I delete, delete, delete.

    1. And is it just me, or has that sort of thing become 100 times worse in recent years? It feels like toxic waste. On days when I have the energy, I will fact check on snopes.com or factcheck.org or RationalWiki, and respond to the person with the truth, but you never see them send out a retraction to everyone on their friends list, so most of the time, like you, I delete. People are so irresponsible with their misinformation.

  2. Pingback: My Response to Search Questions | The View from a Drawbridge

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