Are Memes Ruining my Relationship?

I used to be a keen social media user. Ever since Instagram came onto the scene, I was all about sharing pictures of anything and everything. Quite tragically, I was one of those girls. There then came a point where I grew up. Uploading a sad amount of pictures every day started to bore me, and I felt as though everyone online would post the same thing on rotation. Nothing was inspiring, except for memes.

I don’t know where memes came from, how they’re made, or who makes them, but I love them. They’re all I look for on social media nowadays, and I’ll tag my friends persistently. I’m sure I annoy them with the number of mentions they get throughout the day, but they’ve subscribed to being my friend and that means they’ve adhered to the memes I share.

Like most things, memes are subjective. They depend on an individual’s sense of humour and their judgment of oversimplified hyperbole. The memes that typically appeal to me are the ones that dramatise the facets of being a “crazy” girlfriend, or the ones that allude to life’s dire lack of meaning. I find them relatable. You could, therefore, conclude that I characterise as someone who’s tippling on deranged behaviour, who’s profoundly pessimistic, and who’s probably a bit of a bitch. That’s the kind of person I’m voluntarily portraying through my choice of memes.

I never bothered to think about all of this until I had a critical argument with my boyfriend. While the argument wasn’t about my meme sharing per se, it certainly spurred the matter. Without going into too much detail, the memes I sent – according to my boyfriend – somehow implied a blurry truth to my public and private persona. His point was that because the memes I liked were so self-deprecating, he started to perceive me that way subconsciously. He didn’t want to think of me as this intolerable person I’d project through what I thought were seemingly innocent memes, adding that he didn’t find them all that hilarious because it obscured all the qualities that he does like about me.

At first, it made no sense, and I argued back. How could something as trivial as a meme make him feel uncomfortable? But then it hit me. While a meme might just be a joke for many us, there could be a weirder, deeper meaning to them. When we send the same type of memes frequently, are we secretly begging for attention? And are we trying to make light of some dark, depressing insecurities by sharing them?

The truth is, I am insecure about being a cranky girlfriend, and I think it’s obvious that I’m anxious about my purpose on Earth. So maybe I’m sharing these memes to dispatch some secret message, finding comfort in knowing that there are other people out there that adopt the same mentality as me. We create this vicious cycle of belittling, laughing and sharing.

I decided to refrain from sending such memes in the future. They were doing more harm than good, as they were promoting the kind of person I’m scared to be as opposed to the kind of person I want to be. Some of them are still humorous, and I’ll pass them on from time to time. But I’m now far more conscious of my meme sharing tendencies.