Wednesday, 4th October 2023

Memes, fireworks of emojis and DM culture

By Seun Johnson
07 April 2023   |   4:10 am
With social media and various digital activities filling up mundane and imaginative parts of our lives, people continue to have many more reasons to stay attached to their phones, laptops or tech devices

With social media and various digital activities filling up mundane and imaginative parts of our lives, people continue to have many more reasons to stay attached to their phones, laptops or tech devices, hence spending more time wandering the streets of different online communities while subtly detaching from the reality on streets and communities we lay our heads at night or rely on for our livelihood.

The way people communicate and share information has drastically changed. Now, people can go for days and even weeks without verbally speaking to each other and still feel a sense of being in touch or present in the life of the other person on either end of the phone, chatroom or DM (Direct Message). I’m a guilty of the above scenario as well and can go back and forth for weeks with a friend on Instagram, just sharing interesting, bizarre, funny, inspirational, educational or just ‘FYI’ contents without saying ‘hello’ or checking up on them and having ‘real life’ conversations.

Memes and content sharing have become popular ways of expressing oneself, sharing ideas and engaging with others online. Memes, in particular, are a form of visual communication that is often humorous and can convey complex ideas in a simple, shareable format. They can be used to comment on current events, convey emotions or express opinions.

Content sharing, on the other hand, allows people to share articles, videos, images and other types of content that they find interesting or relevant to their interests.Overall, the ease of sharing memes and other content on social media has made it easier for people to communicate and connect with others, regardless of their location or background. As such, it has become an important aspect of modern communication.

However, while direct messages, content sharing and memes have become important forms of communication in today’s world, they cannot entirely replace the importance of verbal communication. Verbal communication is still essential for building relationships, conveying emotions and discussing complex topics.

Direct messages, content sharing, and memes are often more casual and may not convey the same level of nuance and depth as verbal communication. While they can be effective for quick exchanges of information or sharing lighthearted content, they may not be as effective for discussing serious or sensitive topics; the types that make us really human and humane.

Also, verbal communication allows for non-verbal cues such as facial expressions, tone of voice and body language, which can convey meaning and emotions in ways that written communication cannot. These non-verbal cues can be especially important for building trust and understanding in personal and professional relationships.

Therefore, while we might get carried away with the trends of direct messages, content sharing, and memes, we cannot fully replace the importance of verbal communication. Each form plays its role at given instances and can be used together to create a more complete and effective means of communication. Let’s seek to improve relationships in our lives by first being actively mindful during social interactions. Seek to listen and be listened to.

Deliberately make notes to create opportunities where you pick up the phone to make phone calls as opposed to texting or fix outdoor meetings and hangouts instead of video calls where we mute for decorum and send fireworks of emojis in reaction to diverse emotions. One last thing; is it just me, or have you also realised sometimes you struggle with finding the right emoji to express how you feel and end up not expressing yourself well?

‘Seun Johnson is a Nigerian and global citizen with experiences in entertainment, strategy, talent and project management.