My Life is a Meme

There was the Stone Age, the Industrial Age and the Information Age, but the only label in my mind for current times is the Meme Age. As a FB addict I see hundreds every day. Silly one-liners that instruct me in how to live.

This type of instruction isn’t new.…Women have been embroidering and hanging needle-point verses on walls for centuries. Families gather around dining tables with the (Insert verse) staring down and reminding them that following this advice will lead to success in life.

Although I didn’t grow up with a needlepoint verse governing my existence I was a fan of bumper stickers.  I collected them from book fairs and health fairs and radio station booths. Too young to have a car, my mother forbid us from sticking anything on her Toyota Corolla, so mine kept their smooth waxy covers on the sticky side and hung from my bedroom walls with pushpins.

As an Educational Psychologist I preached behavior change through the visual. Star charts, visual reminders, graphs…all of these help to change a student’s behavior.

But the Meme? The definition: a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc., that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users. Yep, that’s the definition I know about. But there is a second definition: an element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, especially imitation.

Interesting. Are we passing behaviors through social media via a non-genetic means?


Does this really change my behavior?

I think not. It makes me laugh, or sigh, or scrunch my eyebrows together. But upon reading this….. do I smile more? Show more patience with myself waiting for time to cure all? Quit stressing about the past?


How do we avoid reading and sharing these single sentences with the underlying concept that we are changing the world with our efforts? For me the Meme falls into the slactivism category….I can make myself feel like I’m doing something to make the world a better place because I shared this.But that is not real. When I post about recycling or eliminating plastics have I made even a microscopic dent in the problem?

Again, Nope.






So my latest goal is to challenge myself each time I share something on social media to think up an actual REAL LIFE action that makes a move in that direction. We’ll see how I do because remember