Social media, a tool that all most everyone uses on some platform to connect with the world as a whole. We use it not only to connect with other people, but to see news, stories, videos, and so many other things. Often when scrolling, looking at people’s stories, or clicking on links, we see something funny, or even inappropriate, and we laugh…sometimes a lot. After that though we almost always share it with someone else, or even repost it, without actually thinking about how what we thought was funny in the moment, can actually do some harm in the long run. One such idea is the use of memes on social media, and granted I will laugh at memes and send them to friends, but that is still not an excuse if said memes are actually doing more harm then good. So are they? Are memes influencing how were perceive certain topics and creating an adverse reaction?
To begin I think it is important that we understand what exactly the topic of interest is. And for the purpose of this post, that is in regards to women and drinking. First, do the memes surrounding this topic tap into the motivation of women to drink? And, do these memes actually have a negative reinforcement and strengthen the desire or even environment around drinking? Personally, I believe that the best way to talk about this is to go directly to the memes and discuss them. Now before I go any further, I want to say that I personally will laugh at memes like this, I do find them funny because some of the circumstances in them are relatable, but I also think that is why they can be dangerous.
If you simply Google “women drinking memes” you will come up with a wide range of memes going from Betty White with a wine glass to Karen Walker (a character from the show Will & Grace) saying that she would “suck the alcohol out of a deodorant stick”. When I scrolled through, I also got a meme about gays wearing floral shirts, but hey I guess even google makes mistakes once in a while. So lets dive right on in! I promise to exclude some of them though, simply because of language and also topics (there was one such meme of jack and coke and how it helped women overcome the fear of certain sexual activities.
I want to start off with the memes below as I think they tie into motivations. Now there are so many more memes out there, but I only want to touch on a few of them for the sake of this post. In these you see women that almost everyone knows (except for the third one, I am not sure who she is). But, these memes touch on reasons why drinking may be a good idea. I especially want to take a moment to talk about the third meme which explains what a mimosa is, “something women in their 20s drink so they can feel better about drinking in the morning.” Granted I like a good mimosa once in awhile, but should they really be explained in a way to make people feel better about drinking?
Below I am also including more memes that I think impact women drinking. Here you will see memes showing that wine is the classy way to get wasted and how gin & tonic is the cause and cure of all “my” problems. This one I think is incredibly moving as well, due to the idea that drinking is what got her into her problems, but it is also what will get her out. I find that very telling of our culture as that is something we actually do on a regular basis. When we are heartbroken we go out on a bender, or simply drink alone. When we feel depressed, we drink. So often drinking is encouraged as a way to nurse our broken souls, but so often it only makes us feel worse.
Going into the future I cannot say that I will not find memes like this funny, but I encourage you, as I encourage myself not to feed into the idea that drinking is a way to cope with problems we have in our lives. Memes reflect our society, and as such I see a need to work towards helping our society create new ways to promote health and well being.