At the March for Our Lives protest earlier this year, many teens campaigning for greater gun control in the US used signs emblazoned not with slogans calling for an end to the slaughter of their peers, but with… Spongebob Squarepants memes.
It seems odd, on the surface, but as New York Magazine writer Madison Malone Kircher wrote, “[Teens] know that a sign that says #enough isn’t going to get thousands of retweets and national news attention, but that if you put that hashtag coming out of the mouth of Mr Krabs… it might.” Harnessing the power of social media is something teens were literally born to do, and just as their protest signs are different to what ours might be, so too are their Insta feeds. Here’s what they’re into:
HIGHLY STYLISED, CLIP ART-STYLE MEMES THAT ARE SPECIFIC TO THE POSTER’S LIFE LIKE: “HOW I FEEL WHEN MY MUM TELLS ME TO GET OFF MY PHONE”
A SPECIFIC KIND OF NICHE MEME THAT’S TAILORED TO IDENTITY LIKE: “SOCIAL INFLUENCER STARTER PACK,” “00’S KID STARTER PACK”
FAKE INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT WHERE YOU SHARE YOUR REAL FEELINGS WITH SELECT FRIENDS AS OPPOSED TO: #RINSTA (REAL INSTAGRAM)