Throughout history, people have turned to arts and entertainment to cope with the brutalities of life. The current times are no different. Amidst the coronavirus pandemic also, people have found solace in memes and memefication has emerged as an avenue to deal with post lockdown frustration and depression.
The meme culture became a part of the digital world a few years ago where people used it for humor, to connect it to a pop culture reference, or as their defense mechanism. They troll or create responses to trending stories with witticism through memes, which sometimes reflect their personal experiences.
In COVID19 days, the exercise began as a means to troll the authorities and critiquing the Mullah brigade but soon it gained momentum where memes started emerging around various aspects of social distancing and life in quarantine. This also gave birth to a Facebook group ‘Quarantine Posting’ which hit over 10,000 members in less than a week. The group now has over 35,000 members, which is a testimony to the growing popularity of the medium as a form of expression and a means to entertainment for people online.
People are posting all sorts of memes and content on this group, journaling their daily updates. Out of boredom, people have started threads to share information and enhance their general knowledge.
Even though it has been over three weeks to the quarantine, people still haven’t gotten used to the boredom, a by-product of the lockdown. Many are frustrated with their routine and are expressing it through their personalized poetic touch.
The sudden emergence and takeover by the virus has given birth to conspiracy theories also. One of the most interesting conversations that have been spotted and shared massively through Facebook and family WhatsApp groups is of the Yahoodi sazish (translated: Jewish conspiracy/scheme) in particular.
One major shift has happened over the last few days. Many people have had a real privilege check. A lot of girls have had to help with household chores since the house help is also in lockdown.
The pandemic has also given a whole new meaning to 'Netflix and Chill.' Many people are discussing shows, movies, and seasons to watch, but there is a clear polarization of opinions in this area too. There is a Money Heist cult and the rest. Luckily, the latest season of the show created a massive following. People on meme groups and communities started threads and discussions. Goes without saying that posters of spoilers got deleted and blocked.
They discussed their favorite characters. Nairobi's magnificence and on-screen aura has clearly been the winner.
But nothing got more virility than the videos of a much talked about cleric Zameer Akhtar Naqvi who claimed to have the cure of the novel coronavirus but refused to give it off. His videos had made rounds back in 2018 and 2019 and several memes were extracted out of them. These were just an extension to the previous ones.
Regardless of what people resort to for entertainment, everyone looks forward to the lockdown ending soon. It is hope that keeps us going and it is hope that we need to give.