Please Stop the ‘What Do You Do?’ Meme: An Intervention

Please Stop the ‘What Do You Do?’ Meme: An Intervention

Thanks for becoming a member of me right here at present. I’d like to speak a couple of meme going round Twitter proper now, with none type of anger, or judgment, or blame. The meme format appears to be like one thing like this:

“What do you do?”

“I’m a author.”

“Oh, god. Why? Did you go to high school for that?”

“Properly, no. I didn’t. Probably not. I studied literature after which issues simply kind of went from there.”

“Oh, have you ever learn The Fountainhead?”

I don’t wish to name anyone out particularly — once more, this can be a judgment-free house — so I’m going to skip the same old part of the meme explainer the place I’d embed a half-dozen of those and let you know the origin story. (For the document, a colleague tells me they “assume the primary one was from a chemist.”) Right here’s the factor: This meme is unhealthy, and it must cease, instantly.

I hope I don’t have to clarify that the aim of this meme is to humblebrag that you’ve got an fascinating, sophisticated, or worrying job — a job too nuanced and tough for the common particular person on the road to grasp. The meme assumes that no matter it’s that you just do professionally will likely be misinterpreted, and that your interlocutor, an unsophisticated rube, will instantly reply with an idiotic query or little bit of inane recommendation or ideas primarily based on their restricted and, effectively, mistaken, interpretation of your very cool job. As a result of you’ve a cool job. Congrats on having a job! A job that’s cool, no much less!

That’s effective, so far as it goes. The second-order function of many memes is to humblebrag. The issue is that the primary-order function of memes is to make individuals giggle. This meme isn’t, as these items go, humorous. It’s not very humorous that an individual you’ve invented thinks that your job is equal to another job that’s comparable, or misunderstands what you do. It is likely to be irritating, and I sympathize, however “frustration” will not be at all times a very good basis for a meme that ought to carry pleasure and mirth to your followers.

Is that this meme humorous? Effectively, probably not, no. However a minimum of it requires effort and just a little little bit of self-deprecation — a lot better foundations for high quality memes than “irritation.” Congrats, once more, in your cool job! Click here

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