And we should have added – to making a meme memorable.
Lately the Guild Facebook account has been flooded with memes that have a political or religious connection. While there are still kittens and pandas, they are losing out in people’s reaction to the news – and a new trend in meming is appearing: the earnest statement that ends in a flippant insult. It is a sad waste of opportunity – it never persuades and it rarely insults.
An example; recently a meme appeared with the map of Australia on it – always a good way to present an idea if you are aiming it at the Down Under market – and made a series of statements that expressed kindly support for Muslim people. It urged those of other faiths to treat them fairly. It was a reasonable and responsible document until you got to the last line…where it said that if you did not agree you were an ignorant racist arsehole. Exact wording.
Not good. That last line reduced the document to the level of statements made by just the sort of unpleasant people it excoriated. As the meme invited people to agree and share – and a surprising number of them did so in a click – they all identified themselves with the language. Think about it…you may be tarred with a brush, but you do not have to wield it yourself, nor do you need to apply an undercoat and two finishing layers…
A better way is to say what you mean to say openly, and fairly and politely. Say it with correct spelling and punctuation as good as you can manage. By all means include a visual that takes the attention, but it should not be a derogatory image or photoshopped screen grab. Whatever you mean to say will be demeaned by these means, if you know what I mean. Don’t be mean.
And don’t just click agreement if you have something to say. Say it yourself. Say it in your own words. Use your mind, not your finger.
Save insults for when they can do the most good. The formal dinner – the private consultation in the club boardroom – the bedroom. If you succeed you will be successful and if you fail you will be spared the indignity of failing in public.