Memes are deeper than you think


Wasting time has never been so easy. While memes have been all the rage, the creators of memes say the idea associated are more profound than people think.

With the advent of social media, students have been able to distract themselves at a whole new level. The “What people think I do” posters have a set of six photos where different captions describe what different segments of society think they do, and compare it with what this group of people do. But, it seems that some view memes as another way of self-expression that delves into our lives at a deeper level.

Mark Oram, from Kaysville, co-founder of the Grassroots Shakespeare Company, made the “Mormon” poster on Feb. 14, and has had more than 4,300 shares and in just one day. Oram was surprised no one had made a “Mormon” poster yet and sketched one out on the back of an envelope. While he wasn’t sure it would go viral, Oram said he was happy that people enjoyed it.

“I like this particular meme because of how it makes fun of stereotypes, and it deconstructs them,” he said. “People like to fancy themselves as very non judgmental, but at the end of the day, we like to laugh about the stereotypes that people have of us and what we have of others.”

An example of a Mormon meme, which has sparked discussion amongst members of the church. Courtesy of

Jace Nava, a senior from Taylorsville, majoring in film, said memes really do exemplify what people do. Nava, who created a meme for film students, said while his was specific to him in the film program as an editor, a lot of film students could relate to it. He said it was interesting how social media propagates items through the Internet, making it a cultural phenomena. With these memes, he said everyone can have their voice heard, but they don’t have to personally stand up.

“I would never go up to a microphone in a room full of people and say this is what people think I do, or what my Mom thinks I do,” Nava said.

He said memes allow people to explore themselves in ways they normally would not.

“It rips off the mask that we wear in front of other people,” he said. “Memes take what is true on the surface, about what people’s thoughts towards us or a certain group are, and the sarcasm helps us see the truth and what is actually thought.”

Jen Joslin, a sophomore from Reno, Nev., majoring in information systems, said while she thinks memes could be deeper than people see them, she has not seen that in practice.

“It seems to me that people find a collection of amusing pictures that generally relate to their topic, and they squeeze them in to the assigned categories with a weak attempt at a punch line in the ‘What I Actually Do’ section,” she said. “Humor stems from truth, and these pictures just don’t ring true for me.”

David Perkins, a senior majoring in physics, said if people took more time to think and make their memes, they could be good.

“I wouldn’t discount the possibility, but it’s hard to think that something so poorly made on average and lacking in deep reflection could contribute beyond lowbrow entertainment,” he said.

Enos Ledezma, a junior from Provo majoring in advertising, who made the “BYU Students” meme, said the memes tell more truth than just a funny joke.

“They are a way to make commentary without people having defensive walls up, so you get through a lot more with things that have some truth to it, then just a forum where dialogs go on,” he said.

While Oram thinks these posters are mostly a cheap laugh, they can be helpful and thought-provoking.

“I think its good for people to examine their prejudices if only for a minute. A lot of the comments I’ve been reading have been a lot of Mormons clarifying things to their  non-Mormon friends,” he said.

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