“Irmagerd!”

In case the hurricane comes or it doesn’t or it does or it doesn’t…here are some suggested ways you can be prepared according to credible social media sources such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram.

1)    First of all, check to see where the predictions are currently standing and how you should take precautions.

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2)    Whatever you do, DO NOT forget your charger if you do need to evacuate the area.

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3)    Make sure you tie your house down before you leave, because that is extremely important.

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4) If you are are not evacuating try to put some of your household appliances to use. Throw ice in your washer before the storm and use it as a cooler! The water drains out anyway, so that’s actually not a bad idea! Yes, thank you Pinterest. 

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5)  Place important documents, pictures, and books into your dishwasher to make sure they stay safe and dry.

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I think you are ready now! You know exactly where the storm is headed, you have your charger, hopefully you’re gathering tools to tie your house down, drying out your dishwasher, and loading your washer with ice and drinks! You have nothing to stress about. Just sit back and relax, right?

If you have noticed a pattern with some of the artifacts that have been presented on how you can prepare – it could be that you have seen them before, or that they are all a little humorous, but most importantly they all share a common factor being that they are all memes.

In just a short about of time with the announcement of the hurricanes, several memes have been surfacing the internet and have gone viral.

What makes a meme go viral?

Memes have become a cultural trend and something that have become a part of our popular culture over the several years. Most of the time they are humorous, it’s a visual (and pictures are worth a thousand words), and it’s almost like an inside joke. For example:

4824576Screen Shot 2017-09-08 at 6.57.00 PMEasily the girl on most “Ermagerd” memes quickly became the girl who was posted on all of the “Irma Gerd” memes. If you didn’t know who she was you from her popularity on previously memes you may have thought they were still funny but not known who this girl was and why her face was the chosen one. I think it can now be declared the world’s favorite meme and hashtag paired with this storm.

There is a negative side to memes. Since they are such a huge part of our culture and entertainment they could be used as a method of persuasion. Although we want them to be harmless, as Dr. Deanna D sellnow stated at the Integrated Marketing Communication Conference, “some entertainments initial purpose was not made to be persuasive however because of that it could potentially be even more persuasive and compelling because we aren’t anticipating persuasion”. That seems to be a pattern with memes, as they are mostly made to be humorous some do become reality.

An example of this is with the memes dedicating their attention to the tracks of the hurricanes. As frustrating as it may be to not know where the hurricane could be headed it is better to be informed of what we do know as soon as possible, rather than waiting until is it 100% accurate and we have the potential of it being too late. After all, communication is key amiright? 

In all seriousness, stay safe during this storm and check credible news sources on how to prepare for the storm! But wait, there’s more….

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-Josie Edwards

 

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14 thoughts on ““Irmagerd!”

  1. I really enjoyed your take on the hurricane coverage. It was a breathe of fresh air after all of the endless doomsday reporting. There are some helpful memes in here as well, I never thought to use my dishwasher as a place to protect my items. Thus the use of your memes just proves your point above, they are helpful and enjoyable to pass on information and useful in their own way but must also, like any source, be viewed with an open mind and sometimes not taken too seriously. Thanks for the post! Stay safe this weekend!

    • Yes, I love how memes always seem to find a way to add humor to a situation and leave a lasting impression on people. Visuals are important and people have a short attention spans so they get the job done. I’m glad you enjoyed the post! Stay safe as well.

  2. It’s interesting how memes have become an important part of our popular culture. Specifically, memes relate to comedic events, thoughts, and emotions. Interestingly when the photo was taken, its purpose was usually not for comedic reasons. It was the online audience that created their own comedic interpretation of the photos. Similarly, companies may put an artifact out with a particular intention but the audience’s interpretation may be otherwise from the original intention.

    • It is so interesting to research how some of them evolve. You’re right it originally was just an upload of a funny picture. Who knew it would go viral and become a part our popular culture? Thank you for your reply!

  3. As someone living in Wilmington with family in Texas who have been impacted by Harvey, it is refreshing to not be the only person NOT freaking out. You have an interesting point about memes and their role after they first emerge as comedy. Good note about the dishwasher… That is handy!

  4. I am so happy you all posted on this! I have been laughing hysterically at these memes for the past week. While memes are initially created to be humorous, I agree with your claim that some do become negative reality. For instance, the island of Barbuda is not laughing at the Hurricane Irma memes after 90% of the island was swept away. For them, our humorous memes will only fill their mind with everything but humor as they reflect on the devastation this storm did to their homes, lives, and psyche.
    Thus in situations like these, it is so important to be mindful of what you share on social media because not everyone will interpret memes the same!
    Stay safe and informed this hurricane season!

    • As I wrote this and was getting into the more serious part of the blog. I kept laughing at the guy who tied his house down. If he only knew the wind speeds right?

      That is a very interesting perspective. I wonder what those who have been affected by the storms are thinking of all of the memes surfacing the internet. As memes continue to be a part of (and grow) our pop culture I’m curious to see how different interpretations of play out.

      Thanks for your response!

      -Josie Edwards

  5. This post really brought to my attention that memes can be so persuasive. I didn’t really acknowledge it or think about it until you mentioned, then I started to notice how they are persuasive. This blog also gave tips to use for hurricanes and most of them I hadn’t even of heard of. Along with all the memes to bring humor into the post made it intriguing.

  6. I read this post and it truly made me laugh. I love memes and thought the way they were posted in number sequence of steps was neat. When I first opened this page I immediately went to the memes and then started off reading every post about staying safe in a hurricane. On social media, memes are used more than people posting about their daily lives. The meme’s that were chosen came with humor and facts which sparks people’s attention.

    • Katelyn,

      You opening the page and immediately going to the memes to read every one proves how effective they are! Could memes could be potential marketing tactics?

      Thanks for your comment!

      -Josie Edwards

  7. As an avid meme consumer, I really enjoyed this article on hurricane preparation. I agree that there is a time and a place for a meme; I feel that one should be making less memes in the wake of a natural disaster like a hurricane. Especially when there have been casualties and severe damages as a result from the event. I feel that sometimes social media takes out our ability to empathize with others, something that makes us all human. As scholars and consumers it is our job to keep others accountable as well as ourselves in order to produce relevant content online; glad to know my dish washer can also be used as a filing cabinet! Social media and memes are definitely tools of persuasion that can be quite enjoyable. But I feel that all things in moderation is what is best to be an engaged but not overwhelmed consumer of media. Going forward, let’s enjoy the memes, yet take into consideration that need help at home and abroad.

  8. I really enjoyed this article! I think that memes have a magical way of adding humor to a difficult or miserable situation, especially when it is something that a large population is going through together. Hurricanes are extremely scary, but when there are millions standing together, and even bonding over something as simple as memes, it makes you not feel so alone. Although the internet has its downfalls, I think one of its greatest aspects are bringing people together, and this is a perfect example of that.

  9. I really enjoyed reading this blog. From the first moment, I was intrigued by it. Probably even more than other persons. I have never experienced a hurricane before, so how could I resist reading a blog about it. I liked that you used memes and a humorous form of storytelling, to introduce and explain you actual topic. Moreover, you gave me a new perspective about looking at memes, I always same them as funny and harmless and never thought that they could be used in a persuasive manner.

    However, I did thought that there was also another negative side about memes. Because what happens with the people that are used in the meme and go viral. For example the girl on most “Ermagerd”. I don’t believe her life will be the same before and after the meme was made. People can regconize her and probably make fun of her. Moreover, this might have a negative influence on her job perspectives. This made me thinking, shouldn’t there be restrictions on memes where people are used in? Should facebook ask the people in the meme permission or at least make them aware that they are used in a meme? I don’t know if there are any policies on this topic, but I think it is a question worth asking. Maybe an idea for a follow-up blog?

  10. OH NO I FORGOT TO TIE DOWN MY HOUSE!

    in all seriousness, love the article. Looking at the comments, a lot of other people did too. Memes were a great topic. They feel very culturally relevant, and combining them with the Irma chaos is gold!

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