Early this week, an absolute (white) genius at my school posted the above meme to his Snapchat story, and— surprise, surprise—he got beat up by two African American kids the next day. Did he deserve it? Was the joke even funny enough to make a double-team, round-house kick to the face worth it?
Honestly, probably not to both questions.
One of the biggest issues that our generation has to figure out as we make these sorts of mistakes is how to monitor our online presence. This is especially vital when we begin to apply to colleges or jobs. Having a portfolio of irresponsible, lascivious conduct ready to display for potential employers on Instagram or Facebook is the most mainstream example of what we should refrain from.
The unconventional aspect of it all is when we decide to post memes of the “edgy” variety.
I won’t lie. I’ve ran a few meme accounts in my day, and while the things I posted aligned more so with the surreal, ironic, wholesome, “anti-humor,” nonsensical genre, I still found myself making posts I probably wouldn’t want anyone of importance to see. These accounts have been deleted, but to be frank, they helped me reach a wider audience and make more friends than I would have without it. In short, my “meme account” (since most of the time they were just random edits I made, spams of cartoon characters, or the most bizarre thing I could find on Google that day) helped me make lasting memories without damaging my public image. Other people, however, have not been so lucky.
Around two years, a few students from Harvard had their offers rescinded for having an offensive meme group chat. Such topics they covered were pedophilia, Nazis, and… dead Mexican kids. I know. All generally pretty unfunny without an ePiC iRoNiC font and some cartoon character thrown in to make it more nostalgic and lighthearted. Needless to say, everyone was pretty livid about that situation, parents included. This case is the prime example of what all of us Generation Z kids needs to be wary of when we post and share memes. It doesn’t matter if we actually condone the behavior joked about: it matters that we take reasonability for when we get called out for sharing it.
As I write this, I think that the boy I mentioned earlier kind of deserved getting beat and written up. America is a special place when it comes to saying whatever you want. But we have to respect that although free speech is a guaranteed right, it is not without repercussions. No matter how old you are, think a few times on what you’re saying, what you’re posting, and see if that’s the image of yourself you want the world to see. After all, would you really want a dank meme to ruin your entire career?
(Especially a normie one, I don’t know what this guy was thinking.)
Thanks for checking out this post! If you would like to read a sample of my book, Accursed Red, click here. Thanks again for the support, and keep sharing wholesome memes 🙂