Today on Teen and Parent Perspectives (TAPP), we depart from our survey format to share a teen-parent story loosely based on real life:
One afternoon Jackie’s three teenage daughters huddled over the oldest’s phone. They laughed hysterically.
Naturally, Jackie assumed a YouTube video was involved, so she peered over their shoulders to watch. Instead of Nigahiga, they were scrolling through photos with captions.
“Memes,” they explained.
Of course, the term meme was vaguely familiar to Jackie, though she had thought it was connected to the Star Wars franchise.
(Side Note : If you’re wondering how she missed the world of memes, there’s a simple explanation: no social media. It had been a blessing and a curse. )
Anyway, after glancing at the photos and captions, Jackie quickly determined this was something she could do. So she set out to make a meme and prove to her teenagers that she was trendy.
She googled how to make memes, then spent the next week making one. She downloaded GIMP and watched tutorials on how to open photos in it and add text. She researched font type and size and shadows. Then she scanned free photo sites like Pixabay, Pexels, and Unsplash for hours—okay, days—and downloaded options…until she stumbled across The One.
A lizard jumping from one rock wall to another.
It immediately sparked her creativity. Words flowed from her soul, and she made a meme that said: “I’ve go this. Mom believes in me.”
Then she showed it to her oldest teenager, expecting a shower of praise. Instead, they had an enlightening conversation:
Jackie: What do you think of my meme?
Oldest: It’s not a meme.
Jackie: Of course it is. There’s a photo with a caption, and the letters are Impact font with black outlines. It’s a meme.
Oldest: It’s not funny.
Jackie: It’s not meant to be funny.
Oldest: Memes are funny. Your picture is an inspirational poster.
Jackie (wheels turning): So I created…an Inspo.
Oldest: That isn’t a thing.
Jackie: It could be. It could be pre-trendy.
Oldest: That’s especially not a thing.
Jackie: Why don’t you post my Inspo to your friends and see what they think?
Oldest: Fine. That’ll prove it’s not a thing.
[Oldest posts Inspo to friends and waits three seconds.]
Oldest: No one responded. No, wait a second. Tam likes it.
Jackie: See, it’s a thing.
Oldest: Tam just likes you.
Jackie: She’s a sweetie. See, my Inspo worked. I’m already inspired.
Oldest: Tam wants you to make more. I bet she’s laughing out loud.
Jackie: LOL. I know that one. I’m so trendy.
Oldest: And inspirational.
Jackie: Now we’re clicking.
Oldest: Sure, Mom. We’re clicking.