After Trump ordered the killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, tensions between the U.S and Iran rose as Iran threatened to avenge his death. Soon after, WW3 was trending on all social media with memes of a possible draft, funny videos of how people might act on the battlefield, and more, reflecting perfectly what our culture has become.
Memes are great. Looking at memes is the way people relax from their stressful lives. It is a way to escape reality, but oftentimes, people escape from reality too much. It’s important to take seriously what needs to be taken seriously like the dangerous conflict with Iran.
Since WW2, the world has changed. The Internet was invented in 1983, which is arguably what the world revolves around now. Mobile devices became a thing which made it easier to access the Internet, and in 1997, the first social media site was created, and that trend only grew bigger. Now, there are very few people without social media.
Memes are at the center of it all. It is a revolutionary concept that changed our culture as people are obsessed with making memes about literally anything. That concept didn’t exist in 1914 during WW1 or in 1939 during WW2. People had other sources of entertainment such as theatres and jazz music. It did not include making fun of the most serious situations. War was taken serious in that period of time. It was part of the lifestyle of many people. It was their reality. Now, our reality is making fun of those types of situations through memes, taking out the sense of awareness in society today. To solve that, a balance needs to be made between humor and seriousness.
There are two extremes in this situation: taking everything as a joke and taking everything too seriously. There should be a balance between these, but more often than not, people decide to go to the extreme of taking everything as a joke. Since memes were invented, this has increased. People joke about anxiety and depression and and how everyone instead of trying to help, they respond with “same” or “me”. This might lead to people not getting help and relying on humor as a defense mechanism. This is an example of how much our culture has changed since memes became relevant. Similarly, the memes about a possible war diminish the national conflict. The responses are unhealthy and it may cause a lack of preparation from the American people (emotionally and physically) in case this issue becomes worse.
There is the other extreme of taking everything too seriously. This is also unhealthy. It makes a person paranoid and embittered. Humor can give people relief from the tension of the situation. It’s a moment of happiness needed to continue dealing with the problems. The important thing is to consider a balance in most situations or which one should outweigh the other. In this case, seriousness is more important than humor because the possibility of war is real. Death is real. Catastrophe is real, and mourning is real. It is not a game from the internet.
Opposition might say that the memes are just jokes and that it’s not a big deal. There is no denying that most WW3 memes are funny and it would be hypocritical to say that I haven’t laughed at them or shared them with friends. The memes shouldn’t stop because of the necessary humorous part of the balance, but people need to start taking this matter more seriously. They should think before posting a meme.
All in all, memes are great. They have brought humans more good than harm making us laugh 24/7, but sometimes those memes should be reanalyzed. Before making memes about a possible war between the U.S. and Iran, people should get informed about it, they should watch the news, they should make judgements about it and care about what their country is going through. This way, society becomes more aware, worried, and prepared in case anything happens. Then, post the meme.