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Monday, Aug 15, 2022
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Banal Memes Killed The Joke In 2021, Will 'Picture Template' Revive It In 2022?

Yearender 2021: The reality is reels – an ensemble of sound and visuals to share some short message of 15 or 30 seconds on Instagram – are reducing the shelf life of a meme.

Banal Memes Killed The Joke In 2021, Will 'Picture Template' Revive It In 2022?
Memes Shifted From Picture Template To Audio, Thanks To Instagram Reels | Instagram
Banal Memes Killed The Joke In 2021, Will 'Picture Template' Revive It In 2022?
outlookindia.com
2021-12-30T16:31:51+05:30

When I remember memes in 2021 my ear asks for mercy from the all commotions around some trite meme templates that went viral this year like, “bashpan ka pyar”, “it’s my life”. Still, I can’t stop myself dumbscrolling when I am on social media. Many people blame it on instagram reels, that it is killing memes which is a “beautiful gift of the internet”. But it isn’t.

The reality is reels – an ensemble of sound and visuals to share some short message of 15 or 30 seconds on Instagram – are reducing the shelf life of a meme. Because the template reels offer for a meme has music in it. That music soon becomes a nuisance in ear when more and more users start using that template. “It’s my life” template had nothing much to offer for “meme sharing” but despite that many used it for memes too, apart from making random videos on it.

“Rasode me kaun tha” which went viral in 2020 had a “picture template” at the center of it, that too without music. Later, when the meme template was extended to video with added music in it, that remained funny for a long period. Although it happened a little late. Similarly, “Pavri ho Rahi hai”, a meme template, had almost the same reception. It went viral in February 2021.

When the Baghpat chaat fight incident happened. It made netizens laugh a lot. It created the same kind of buzz as “Rasode me kaun tha” when it comes to memes made on it. Though it was for a brief period, but many memes were shared using “picture template”.

 But later from march 2021 onwards, users did not create many memes on “picture templates” and that affected the longevity of memes. Music in a meme makes it redundant sooner than we expect. Also that desist users to innovate in a meme by using either witty text or visual, and people just start lip syncing on the existing template.

However, some resurgence of “picture template” in memes happened when people started making memes on Khali in May. On an instagram reel shared by Khali, a barrage of bizarre “impossible requests” started in Khali’s comment box which was funny. So, some good memes came as a result of it. But it ended soon. Also recently, the “Kanpur Gutka guy” incident took the internet by storm but that too was very short lived.

Speaking to millennials and generation z, I found that many are now dumbscrolling and all involvement in memes is often through the template offered by reels – it has an added banality to it – which kills the joke. For instance, a meme template “mera dhola nahi aaya”, which is in fact one of the funny meme templates but the overuse of it, with no innovation, left us who consume it, with bleh and we just keep dumbscrolling.

Since 2021 was an extension of incarceration that we were condemned by Covid in 2020, dumbscroling became an addictive melancholia for us amid all the destruction that Covid-19 was causing. Our relatives, friends were dying and we were helplessly dumbscrolling. The only active meme makers at time were social media managers of various platforms.

After the end of the second wave, we all were exhausted and overwhelmed by grief. So, the coping mechanism that we used was “to keep us hooked onto screens”. Later, when things started to settle down a bit, we started to look for something else. Many started traveling and putting pictures and videos on social media instead of sharing memes. This in some way halted the emergence of new memes for a long period, because many were not interested in the meme game.

Dull-ness of facebook added to the banality of memes. Though, the departure of generation z and many millenials from facebook started to happen even before 2018. But still facebook was not that dull till 2020. In 2021 facebook looked not just dull but also useless. Only popular pages seem to be sharing videos and some content. However, till 2020 facebook had at least some role in engaging at least millennials in memes but that was missing in 2021.

Now the wait is for the emergence of new memes on “picture template” so the resurgence of “picture template” could happen. Because we all are bored with all these shitty memes on reels and we can’t help but keep scrolling. I am hopeful the “picture template” will revive. For me it’s not dead yet. Because people are fed up by reels. All eyes on 2022!

Twitter and Instagram – @gareebpatrkar

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