Unsigned: The fine line between fun and bullying in meme culture

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If you’ve been keeping up with your internet culture lately, you’ve likely seen a sassy 13-year-old who appeared on Dr. Phil with a “street accent” and is now the latest meme.

“Cash me outside” has become our newest trend, but at what cost to this child?

We’ve all done a lot of things when we were 13. Some of us went through the “emo phase” and some of us had the awkward stage. It’s safe to say that most of us didn’t have the best confidence.

This girl now has that 13-year-old phase spread across the world for everyone to see.

Another popular meme right now is the “tag my boyfriend”: taking pictures of people who are not conventionally attractive and making fun of them all across the internet for people to spread and share, laughing together at someone.

Of course, then there’s good ol’ Harambe.

We know bullying isn’t ethical, but it seems okay to do it through memes.

We’ve become the perpetrators and bystanders we were warned about. These people don’t know us and we don’t know them. They’re just faces and text for us to joke about.

And we laugh at them.

We participate in this cycle because we find it funny. But when you step back, it doesn’t seem funny at all.

A 13-year-old with a broken family and no education. Women with skin diseases and chronic illnesses. A zookeeper that had to shoot and kill a gorilla. Hilarious, right?

There are lots of ways to be funny without making fun of someone who’s already drawn a short straw in life and ended up in a bad situation.

It’s so easy to do that with memes.

Let’s stick to the wholesome memes, how ‘bout ‘dat?

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