Study memes to observe:

1⃣ The future of communication
2⃣ The state of the internet
3⃣ The mindset of kids

👇 Thread 👇

1/ Social media transformed the landscape of SOCIAL COMPARISION.

No longer do we operate at transient, real-world social scale of a few hundred people.

Now, we’re brands.

People are media companies.

We operate on a global scale.

Permanence is the default.

2/ Instagram turned AUTHENTICITY into a performance.

On social media, we reach thousands of people on a daily basis.

Likes and follower counts trained us to create the kinds of content that would be the most popular, over the realistic depictions of our day-to-day lives.

3/ When you post a photo on Instagram, almost everybody you know in real life will see the photo and judge you subconsciously.

Illuminating quote...

"Instagram is seen as a huge stressor for many teenagers. Your Instagram defines who you are.” — Eric Herber, 17 years old

4/ We’ve entered an age of POST-authentic social media.

Teens are shifting away from Facebook status updates.

Now we have "Finstagram."

Wait, what’s that?

Fake Instagram, for trash pics and the outtakes real of your main, hyper-curated Instagram account.

5/ Gen Z is rebelling against single, official identities.

Young people feel like they can be REAL on their FAKE accounts.

6/ How is the internet impacting Gen Z?

They’re the "Sensible Generation."

Every measure of risk taking is down.

* Drinking
* Smoking
* Drug use
* Early sexual activity
* Teenage pregnancies

In this way, they’re serious.

But for every ACTION there’s a REACTION.

7/ Gen Z is oriented towards irony.

At once, they’re serious and take nothing seriously.

Enter… meme culture — defined by humor and satire.

The most up-voted answers on Reddit confirm this


8/ Teenagers are using humor and irony — through memes — to voice deeper stresses and anxieties.

Here’s a meme from the London School of Economics (LSE).

9/ What does this meme tell us about Gen Z?

Expressing the pressure they feel to study hard and get a good job.

Through irony, students express their ambitions, their doubts, and their critics — all at once.

10/ Many memes communicate STRESS and ANXIETY.

Through humor, exaggeration and irony, Gen Z can share difficult feelings.

They share TRUTHS and FEELINGS that are difficult to express straight up online.

11/ Why memes?

It lets Gen Z communicate EMPATHY.

Gen Z can come together by liking and sharing memes.

Through memes, we acknowledge our human similarities.

They’re saying, “I am like this too.”

12/ Memes are our shared experience.

We no longer listen to the same music or watch the same TV shows. Media is splintering.

Memes are our SHARED LANGUAGE now.

Soon, years will be remembered by the memes that went viral

2018: The Year of the Distracted Boyfriend Meme

13/ They are carrier waves for cultural discussion — our common language.

They’re automatically familiar and recognizable.

Memes are personalized and remixed based on who you are, what you’re feeling, and what you stand for.

14/ Memes stir up EMOTION and generate strong REACTIONS.

They encourage attention-grabbing over slow-burning deep, systematic thinking.

Truth is changing form: emotional and moral truths are in ascendance over straightforwardly factual claims.

My favorite example ⬇️

15/ Here’s how @robinsloan described the American Chopper meme

"This is the only meme format that acknowledges the existence of competing information, and as such it is the only format suited to the complexity of our world!”

Spot on.

16/ Technology warps reality in weird ways.

First, we shape our tools. Then, our tools shape us.


Thread inspired by this excellent article

Very well written, @hautepop

👏 👏 👏 

Thanks for reading!

I post all my tweetstorms on my website

🌟  🌟

You can follow @david_perell.


Tip: mention @threader_app on a Twitter thread with the keyword “compile” to get a link to it.

Enjoy Threader? Sign up.

Threader is an independent project created by only two developers. The site gets 500,000+ visits a month and our iOS Twitter client was featured as an App of the Day by Apple. Running this space is expensive and time consuming. If you find Threader useful, please consider supporting us to make it a sustainable project.