While many of us couldn’t join others in a formal university ceremony on Remembrance Day, first-hand accounts of war-time events (e.g., archival letters) can help us all “apprehend the complexities of the human condition” that are central to our collective memory.
These are tough and uncertain times, and we must take the COVID-19 situation very seriously. While, yes, it is important to take the current situation seriously, we still have to stop and find joy and happiness wherever we can find it. For me, and I think for many people, humour is going to get us through this situation.
There is a time and a place for humour. LinkedIn Learning even has an online course dedicated to using humour in the workplace. To me, if you can make someone laugh or smile, it does a lot for morale and builds a stronger bond between people.
When I was working on my Master of Library and Information Science degree, I took a course on the gamification of information. In that course, we had to identify what kind of gaming personality we had. Out of the eight “play personalities,” I was clearly the “joker.” The joker personality revolves around silliness and making others laugh. Jokers tend to be the “class clown” in school and may engage in play by telling jokes, doing funny impersonations, or playing practical jokes.
Quickly I started looking for humour in the current situation, and how to express my own silliness online. I have a blog called 8 bit librarian, and I decided to reflect on my social distancing experience on this site. I love to write, but I find that it takes a long time to publish an article. To ensure that my reflection did not turn into hourly writing sessions, I decided to reflect on my experiences through memes.
A meme is an image, a video, a piece of text, etc. that is passed very quickly from one internet user to another, often with slight changes that make it humorous. You have probably seen Success Kid on the internet; this is a popular meme.
Telling a story through memes
This is a typical way I come up with my memes …
If you are like me, you like to get to meetings early. For me, five to 10 minutes seems like a reasonable amount of time to ensure your connection is stable, your microphone is working, and you are all ready to go for your virtual meeting.
So let’s pretend our meeting starts at 11 a.m.
You connect to Zoom at 10:55 a.m., but you’re the only one there. If you are like me, then your mind works through the following steps.
Step 1: You think, “Do I actually have a meeting today?” If the answer is yes, then you go to step 2.
Step 2: Next you think, “Am I the only one who gets to meetings this early?” If the answer is yes, you might proceed to step 3.
Step 3: Then you think, “Is it weird that I am sitting alone this early for a meeting?” If the answer is yes, you proceed to step 4.
Step 4: Log out and return to the meeting at a more appropriate time, like 10:59 a.m.
It’s these types of situations that inspire me to meme. Like the one below.
Making memes is quick and easy. The tool I use is Meme Generator. Check out my other meme reflections here and, if you want, share your own memes in the comments! Remember, libraries and their staff are resilient. Let’s get through this together … at a distance!
Ryan Tucci is a subject specialist at the Carleton University Library. He also blogs at 8Bit librarian.