Memes! Hilarious or downright offensive?

Internet Memes

As mature as I think I am, I must admit I find memes hilarious! So first of all, do you have any clue as to what I’m talking about? Didn’t think so. If you’re not already on the meme bandwagon, then brace yourselves because memes are taking over cyberspace!

Source- know your meme

Source- Girl Armageddon

Whats a meme?

In two words a meme is an Internet phenomenon. It’s usually an edited image with captions or sarcastic phrases to suit the audience. The memes I find funny are often somewhat offensive and are the same recycled images used every time with different expressions. Memes typically pop up on social media pages mainly Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. Every time I see one that I find amusing no matter how silly it is it’s almost mandatory that I share it with all my friends. Ask anyone who enjoys memes and I’ll bet they have shared, re-tweeted, re-blogged or even created their own meme! Once memes are shared, they usually go viral and are seen by millions of Internet users.

Is meme even a real word??

Well apparently meme actually is a real word! It’s derived from the ancient Greek word mimeme and was devised by a British progressive biologist named Richard Dawkins who used memes in his book The Selfish Gene (1976) as a “concept for discussion of evolutionary principles in explaining the spread of ideas and cultural phenomena.” Read more about the history of memes here.

When is taking the meme joke too far?

Recently, as in over the past week I’ve seen an outbreak of meme fan pages all over Facebook. The most popular meme pages at the moment are about high schools and common jokes shared amongst past and present pupils. If I were the principal of these schools, I would be a little concerned especially if the school has a bad reputation already! As funny as the memes are, some of them can be quite serious even targeting particular teachers or students. I feel that at the moment its all a joke, but with phenomenon’s that are this big it should come as no surprise should someone take the joke too far! And this was the case for me last night as I scrolled down my not-so-funny-anymore timeline.

Already, one page crossed the line when an embarrassing (naked) photo of an Onehunga High School pupil resurfaced on the Internet this time with a caption after having already been sent viral through mobile phone about 5 years ago. For once I felt terrible because not only did it have 200 likes after being up for an hour, but it also had numerous comments from people going along with the joke. As hypocritical as this seems now, DO THESE PEOPLE HAVE NO MORALS?? After campaigning with a few other users, the image was removed. If you’re curious as to what Facebook group posted this, click here.

What now?

So I guess I’m now in two mind-frames about memes. I’m not one to get easily offended but there are definitely boundaries. I’ll probably continue sharing them but I don’t think I’ll ever succumb to the appreciation of demeaning memes that have the power to ultimately ruin someone’s life.  Other than that, I love them! They’re entertaining, funny and sarcastic.

Funny or offensive??

Source- New Zealand Memes

Forget high def photos! Vintage photographs is where its at

Polaroid or Instagram?

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Instagram photo of Polaroid camera. Source- Kathryn Wanoa

What is it about vintage effects on photographs that people love? Is it the timelessness, the creation of art, the need to share photos with communities, or is it simply a trend that has returned to modern day society? Two weeks ago my mother brought home a classic Polaroid Supercolor 635 CL camera that had been sitting in a storage cabinet for over 30 years. After searching for film around camera stores in Auckland, it was shocking to discover the scarcity and cost of the 600 film the camera requires. 14 packs including 10 sheets of photo paper per pack costs around $550 American dollars to purchase on Ebay. It’s no wonder people are opting for the Iphone photo application software Instagram recently obtained by Facebook for $1bn that offers users 15 free retro photo filters to apply to their photographs.

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Instagram photo board. Source- Kathryn Wanoa

The difference between both cameras is that Polaroid prints physical copies of images whereas Instagram is an iPhone camera and virtual photo board.

A question that could potentially affect Facebook must be addressed. If Polaroid cameras and film were easy to obtain and affordable to buy, would people choose to use Polaroid cameras again like they used to? Or are users more likely to stick with up-to-date internet technology where photos are taken and stored in cyberspace?

According to the Daily Mail, Instagram attracts an average of one million new users per day adding to the total user count of 40 million. This essentially means Instagram users make up “roughly 5 percent of Facebook’s active database.” Yet after posing the question on Facebook as to which of the two photo technologies individuals would rather use and why, Polaroid was the majority’s preferred choice. 16 out of 20 Facebook users that commented on the post picked Polaroid.

Five others “liked” the following comment, “Initially I was with Instagram because of its simple easy to use nature and I didn’t want to carry around a whole lot of photos at the end of the day but the Polaroid is not altered and keeps a physical picture that is real and an old school feel which I really like.” Of the four people that made Instagram their preference, their reasons for doing so was mainly for its quick on-hand accessibility.

A recent concept design created by Antonio De Rosa of ADR Studio’s may be the solution to the debate! An article from the Huffington Post has revealed images and information for a concept combing both Instagram and Polaroid to form the Instagram Socialmatic Camera. What’s cool about this device is that it incorporates Wifi technology to enable the camera to perform exactly how Instagram does with instant photo sharing on the internet as well as Polaroid benefits to allow users to print physical images via internal printing technologies. Read more about it here.

What is your opinion on this? Would you rather use a classic Polaroid camera for a more authentic photographic experience or would you rather stick with Instagram for quick and easy faux-vintage photo sharing? Would the new Instagram Socialmatic Camera be the perfect solution?