As technology becomes more advanced, many Chinoy Millennials and Gen Z-ers are often chastised for their inability to put down their phones and engage with others in person. As a result, the older generations often make comments like, “internet friendships are not genuine”, “digital communication and social media have ruined what it truly means to communicate with others”, and “technology has destroyed the true meaning of relationships.” Although it’s true that the younger generations spend an inordinate amount of time staring at their devices, it is difficult to avoid spending time online for academic, vocational, or social reasons, especially in an increasingly digital and international connected world. The COVID-19 pandemic and the numerous lockdowns have definitely contributed to that, especially since everyone had to suddenly adapt to the new online learning and work-from-home setup. To cope with the sudden changes, the younger generations have developed interactive freedom places on the internet. Memes are at the vanguard of this modern type of communication, which, unsurprisingly, has become the latest love language of deep connection.
There are several meanings of the term “meme” floating around the internet, but it’s commonly characterized as an internet picture or video that represents some type of social or cultural criticism. Memes are able to transmit people’s humor, attitudes, and beliefs. It has even become a way to help the younger generation approach and make a stand toward current events from a more digestible standpoint. Additionally, post-ironic memes go beyond the use of irony to provide others with a more clear commentary on the status of the world. Memes, with their many approaches to comedy and graphic layouts, examine various aspects of our culture in a way that taps into every individual’s concept of what’s humorous or relevant.
Most explanations of the term, however, fail to reflect the bridge that these basic— and often times, foolish— images build a bond between individuals with similar senses of humor. As such, sending something that does not fit the other person’s sense of humor, in many Chinoy’s experiences, is also a strong sign of a lack of personal chemistry. Failed efforts at amusing dialogue with past partners, friends, and other types of relationships via meme-based talks have become major red flags in some Chinoys interactions with them. Although it isn’t the primary reason for some Chinoys’ relationships and friendships falling apart, the slight divergence in meme exchanges appeared reflective of their opposing personalities. The failure to communicate their views while also engaging in banter can be pretty revealing to a lot of people.
Perhaps this is because memes— whether it’d be a funny and lighthearted Facebook post or an engaging and relatable 60-second Tiktok video— mirror the people who send them, and the stuff they choose reflects how well they genuinely know who they sent it to. If they do it right, it makes others more grateful for their attention and generates attachment inside ourselves — a reciprocal exchange comparable to what the well-known ‘love languages’ transmit.
After all, personal love languages— words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time, physical affection, and gift giving/receiving— have become a widespread concept in popular culture. They assist people in identifying and reflecting on what they require in order to connect with someone in a relationship. Although these love languages aren’t indicative of a person’s psyche, they do, however, open the door to discussions on how individuals show their love for others and what they want in return.
As such, it’s clear from this ever-changing world, that maybe the younger generations have discovered a sixth love language, which is shaped like a social media post and feels like a virtual embrace. Memes and other virtual manifestations of comedy are snapshots of real-life connections converted into a random and computerized societal commentary. This humorous display is one of the simplest methods to show compassion, a gesture of attention, and recognition using images and videos on a screen. It’s a straightforward depiction of the spirit of love languages that promotes relationship development between two individuals. For many people, laughter is an essential component of every relationship.
Although some individuals value a similar sense of humor more than others, the ability to participate in inside jokes and real appreciation of shared content may directly enhance interpersonal ties. With that being said, send a funny and relatable meme to your loved ones to make them laugh, feel good, and ease the stress and worries of everyday life.