Double-Edged Sword: Memes

Necessity is the mother of invention. Technology has grown leaps and bounds in the last 3 decades. We have had far too many needs and way more so-called innovations. Technology has done wonders to us. People can connect to their near and dear despite being several million miles away, receive weather updates much in advance to safeguard themselves, book their travel without any assistance. My mom who was not inclined even towards cordless phone just a decade ago is enjoying the benefits of smartphones. More recently, Chennaintes used technology to solve the food and water crisis during the unprecedented floods. Information about people in distress was spread within seconds and the help was rendered within minutes.

Meme Creator’s Man of the Hour

But there is something that is spreading much faster than the good news. Sundar Pichai has spoken so many words than he would have wished for. He has supported various causes across India. Thanks to the power of Internet rather social media and especially a special shout out to the meme creator without whom the name Sundar Pichai would not have reached the “Patti thotis”(nook and corner) of India. Recently there is a popular meme that doing the rounds in the social media “Sundar Pichai voices his concern on NEET”. My beloved Facebook friends and acquaintances, most of whom have completed their undergraduate degree from prestigious institutions from the country share it without a moment of hesitation. All they had to do was a simple google search(OMG! it is the organization that Mr. Pichai heads) if this was even true.  Some examples of fake news or memes on his quotes are listed below.

Sadistic Pleasure

These memes are so realistic that you should actually appreciate the creators. But the trend according to me is worrying. Fake news in the name of “meme” that is simple and catchy, shows the sadistic nature of the creators. Most of these memes are created for fun. It has been put in circulation with an intent to harm someone or something. They know that their creation spreads faster than a forest fire. The only purpose has been to destroy harmony and peace across many lives and countries. Especially, with the reach of technology, people start believing in most of these fake ones. There is already a dip in trust factor. This is just one example, I am not even sure about the space that these fake news and memes occupy in the cloud. In technological terms, wish we had a “Garbage Collection” for these for the sake of saving all those wasted memories.

Few More Snippets

Here are few more classical examples of deriving sadistic pleasure.

  1. Your network will donate for a cause Like $1, Comment $2 and share $5. I am not sure how did they even come up with this.
  2. Someone needs O+ve blood in this area. Contact XXXXXXXXX to help. This message circulates without any authentication. Either these messages are stale or the contact of a person who you want to suffer. People who believe these message and make a genuine attempt to reach them sometimes even feel the burnt of hearing swear words.
  3. Forward this message to 10 people, else bad luck will come.

Last words

One wise man said “Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last, you create what you will”. This according to me is a fitting message to everyone. There are so many issues in the world that technology can help address. Let memes be a facilitator to that and not a hindrance.

2 thoughts on “Double-Edged Sword: Memes

  1. Nice blog karthic. I am also vexed when I come across such memes which are based on untruth and made with a diabolical agenda in mind, as also to befool people using the name of celebrities. It is pathetic that such opinion bearers are not able to convince their audience with factual and cogent presentations. So, howsoever catchy are the lines attributed to a celebrity, it should be first verified and thereafter circulated or forwarded. As there are umpteen ways to verify such information in this techy world, responsible citizens should not a provide a leg to such evil designed propagandists.

  2. Yes Peripa, you are spot on. People are unable to convince themselves and others without the usage of such images. Thanks to the mad celebrity following across the world, people do not mind verifying the information. Actually, a company in Bangalore has made a business out of this verification of memes.

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