School meme and troll pages on Facebook generate laughs and likes in equal measure, writes Neeti Sarkar
American writer, Robert Brault said, “In childhood, we press our nose to the pane, looking out. In memories of childhood, we press our nose to the pane, looking in.” For most of us, childhood is synonymous with school days.
One of my favourite memories of school was walking to the sports ground, which was two kilometers away from school for march-past practice and heats. If you’re a true blue Bangalorean, you must already know which school I attended! A decade later, I find myself reliving school life to some extent, thanks to Facebook and its innumerable troll and meme pages!
For those of you who are a page behind, a meme is “an idea, behaviour, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.”
It acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols, or practices that can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals, or other imitable phenomena.
That each school/college is known for something special/peculiar is a given. Administrators of these school meme and troll pages on Facebook are capitalising on these stereotypes to generate laughs and “likes” equally.
While many students/ex students make and host meme/troll pages that are exclusive to their educational intuitions, the page ‘12 A Memes’, for example, which initially started as a page to troll students of a particular class, now has a cult following of almost 24,000 people! They “troll everything/everyone across Bangalore” and they now even have a mobile app for Android users!
“There’s nothing like waking up to something funny about your own school or your rival school,” says Anish Nair, a collegian. He adds: “While most people laugh at these witty and sometimes ludicrous jokes, there are those who take offence and that’s when following that meme becomes even more fun!”
Annette D’Souza, a student of media studies says: “If Cottonians are typecast as auto drivers because of their khaki uniform and Christ-ites are made fun of because apparently they can never dream of bunking college, students from St. Germains are stereotyped as boisterous boys and international schools are made fun of because they’re all located near villages!”
According to Arjun Kumar, an avid fan of memes, “What makes these pages fun is that they are personal and something we can easily relate to. Also, since we’ve grown up around kids from other schools and have fought about whose school is better, school humour in graphic form, well after we’ve graduated is just the best.”
With the IPL in full swing, pages like ‘Bangalore Memes’ are busy posting funnies such as “The reason why cricket ball has stitches…Chris Gayle!” An admin of a meme page who wished to be anonymous says: “Forums like these are about good clean fun, relatable posts, and memories of the good ole’ days. Though we don’t intend to offend anyone, there are some personal jibes, but all in good humour.”
He adds: “We can get serious too. We voice our opinion through memes about issues that range from corrupt politicians in the country to rape. These pages are a means to reach out to the masses with fun as well as serious messages.”