With the number of smartphone users steadily growing and data packs getting dramatically cheaper in India, the “meme culture” on social media platforms seems to be losing its harmless and light humour value. Now, comical or satirical representation of social issues — memes — have emerged as flag-bearers of dark humour and untraceable digital revenge that can spread within fractions of seconds and potentially cause irreversible damage to the targeted people and organisations.
Experts are now warning that unchecked use of memes could disturb the social fabric in India, saying that the “meme culture” in the country seems to have blurred the line between harmless light jocularity and insensitive detrimental mockery.
“With the rise of Generation-Z (the demographic cohort after the millennials), we have seen the birth and evolution of meme culture and since they can be created, shared, consumed and disseminated wittily, they can spread swiftly into popular culture due to the ease in sharing,” Prabhu Ram, Head-Industry Intelligence Group, CyberMedia Research (CMR) told IANS.
“Memes are influencing us in our social spheres and given that they are ambiguous and need visual interpretation, it is tough to trace, and hold their creators to account,” Ram said.