Episode Pitch: Millennial Memes
By Khadija Warsame
Cash Me Outside. White Guy Blinking. Distracted Boyfriend. Roll Safe. Mocking Spongebob. Snapchat Hot Dog. Mans Not Hot. Meryl Streep Singing and of course, Cracking Open A Cold One With the Boys. According to Thrillist, these were the best memes of 2017. As a millennial, I did my part in retweeting, reposting, sharing, liking, favoriting, curating and even creating memes in the last year, though my originals will never see the light of day past my group chat. What are memes you may ask? Memes, according to the American Dictionary, is “an element of a culture or system of behavior, showcased in a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc., that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users.” Memes have found their home with Millennials Generation.
Millennials are a generation that has never failed to surprise their predecessors, the Baby Boomers. Our reputation among the Boomers is negative and our antics have done little to sway them otherwise. Belinda Cleary, for the Daily Mail, said that millennials are “Lazy, Entitled and narcissistic” The New York Times is consistently surveying millennials and producing studies that indicate that we are ‘weary of freedom” ‘independence” and ‘self-reliance’. Once they published an article where the research stated that millennials were too lazy to even eat cereal, as they would have to clean up after themselves. Even Joe Biden, after his memes were named in the top ten of 2016, said, “The younger generation now tells me how tough things are. Give me a break. No, no, I have no empathy for it."
Millennials are in their spotlight more than ever today. Why? Because now even though we are considered “Lost Generation” we are also the “Largest”. Elizabeth Bruneig, wrote an editorial based on the transcending millennial humor that is memes and voices the fears that the older generation posses based on it. In the article, Millennials are depicted simply uninterested, bored, lost, morbid and are and consequentially hopeless about the future, past and present. This is reflected in their sense of humour. Millennial meme culture is based on absurdity, self-deprecation and a unified universality within the demographic.
Why does it matter how millennials respond to things? Why does their humor have so much gravity, create so much isolation and affect us so? Because as the largest generation, millennials are in power.
In my podcast, I shall look at the issue three-dimensionally. Are Millennial truly a nihilistic group, as Bruneig says? Where does the cultural rift between generations stem from? Do Millennials truly live with lesser hardship than the boomers? Are Baby Boomer’s animosity justifiable or are Millennial simply a product of the world established by the Boomers? Why is the millennial view so drastically different from that of the previous generation? What is the main influence? Is it political, economic, cultural or technological? I will analyze the types of memes millennial create and spread (dank, fresh, spicy, etc) and how they act as the voice of this generation. I will also predict how the actions of millennials will affect their succeeding generation, Gen Z.