By Angelica Beneke
This week’s Meme of the Week belongs to a different category from the usual memes. The caption is “When you should be studying for that exam but instead ur scrolling down this page:” followed by a picture of a bearded guy who looks perplexed with tiny letters next to his beard that says “Oh no baby what! is you doing???”
While the meme this is based on isn’t as popular as others, I’m already sick of this meme, and . But, the reason why I chose to analyze it is that it employs a favorite literary device of mine.
But, let me analyze other facets of the meme.
The caption … is physically part of the meme? So, is the person not a person at all, but a meme? Yes, there’s the possibility they created the meme in one of those meme creation websites, but I’d like to think there are more memes out there like me (that’s a secret though shhhh).
The caption has “you” but also uses “ur” instead of “your.” And “you” is used instead of “u.” Maybe the pronoun “you” represents the “good” student because obviously, all good students have good grammar. Although, oddly enough, the caption next to the guy does not have good grammar. As Oprah would say, what is the truth?
But, I would still maintain that the letter “u” represents the side of the student who makes poor choices. Hence the second part: “instead ur scrolling down this page.” Using memes makes you use what the stuffy English teachers would call “horrible grammar” even though grammar is changing as we speak.
Maybe this is correct grammar and I’m just not aware. But all I know is that at this point, in October 2017, it’s considered informal at best – incorrect at worst.
That doesn’t reconcile why the guy saying “Oh no baby what! is you doing???” represents the thought of the good student though. Maybe it represents the good student at their breaking point? Yeah, let’s go with that.
Also, there is the possibility this meme is similar to those “don’t do drugs, kids!” campaigns except this is “Don’t do memes!” Which would be interesting, comparing memes to drugs. Both can be addicting in terrible ways, yes, but I won’t get into that right now. Not the politics I want to deal with currently.
And “this page” definitely refers to the Hofstra Meme page. No doubts about that.
Now, the self-aware component absolutely fascinates me. Why do I call it self-aware, though, when the caption uses the second person?
I think the “you” in this case refers to not only the Hofstra student who happens upon this callout meme, but also the OP. Maybe the OP made this meme to make fun of themselves for looking at memes instead of studying for an exam, test, quiz, etc. while simultaneously trying to shame themselves to study for real.
For example, remember when a couple of years ago on Facebook, people would make countless statuses that start off with “that moment when” – the predecessor of tfw or that feel(ing) when? And that was followed by “you” and some action that’s normal in the scheme of things, but unexpected in the life of the individual?
For example, “that moment when you find money in your couch.”
The you in this case clearly refers to the individual who is writing.
I think that’s the case here. Only this time, it’s not to simply inform others but it’s to be self-motivational. Don’t look at the Hofstra Meme page when you should be studying!
I admire that technique a lot. It takes a lot of guts and effort to mold yourself into a meme.
10/10 would recommend this meme to others. Stay in school, kids.