Lunchroom memes: an AirDrop Phenomenon

*The work of the Broken Compass is entirely satirical.


Courtesy of Quinn Davies

This internet meme, dubbed “Dog wearing a mask at dino park” (c. 2017) came as a new exhibit to the Parkway West cafeteria earlier this year. While some find this meme–and most any meme–humorous, some artists become irked with other artists who do not pour effort into their craft. “You get some people who just screenshot instagram posts without cropping them, and that’s just annoying. Then a majority of memes are actually just really bad and not funny,” sophomore Quinn Davies said.

With iPhones rife throughout the student body and the rising popularity of internet memes, the cafeteria is a hotbed for a new Postmodern-Surrealism communal art exhibit of AirDroppedTM lunchroom memes.

“I was on my phone with my friend one time and we were going through pictures, and then we remembered you can airdrop pictures, so we started airdropping random pictures to each other while we were on our phones,” senior and meme artist Nathan Stucki said. “We decided, ‘What if we start airdropping to random people at lunch while they are on their phones?’ and we started airdropping them random stuff because it would be pretty funny.”

Blooming artists flocked to the movement due to the anonymous nature of meme sharing. It has inspired a complete shutdown of all other forms of creativity among students; it is a passionate art form that is on the precipice of discovery.

Courtesy of Quinn Davies

“You know how you send your friends random pictures? It’s just kind of different in the aspect of it being anonymous; it’s basically a modern version of a prank call—it’s intended to get a reaction and it’s anonymous, but you get to see it in a social setting,” sophomore and undiscovered meme artist Quinn Davies said.

With fear of being ostracized, artists feel the need to lie or cover up their works or to operate under strange or funny pseudonyms and Dr. Seuss-esque aliases in order to maintain their anonymity.

“[My friends and I] were sitting at the lunch table and this group behind us was like ‘Who’s airdropping these memes?’ Then they asked our table, ‘Hey are you guys airdropping?’ because they saw over one of my friend’s shoulder that they were sending memes,” Davies said. “I looked them dead in the eye and said, ‘It’s not me, man.’”

I did it for two days, but then people got mad. And I also ran out of memes.”

— Jacob Scott

But this art industry has claimed many careers already; artist after artist have entered early retirement, facing backlash and a lack of inspiration.

“I don’t operate anymore. I did it for two days, but then people got mad. And I also ran out of memes,” sophomore and retired meme graffiti artist Jacob Scott said. “People were complaining to me saying, ‘I know it’s you,’ even though I had changed my name.”

The artists do understand the frustration expressed by a select portion of the viewership. However, they believe the problem lies not with the art, but with the human condition of humor.

Courtesy of Quinn Davies

“Meme culture is a mixed bag of what people like. Some people like memes that make fun of bad situations—ya know, the edgy memes—but others just like stupid stuff. An example of stupid stuff is how I like when you’re trying to print a Google Doc and it’s still loading it says, ‘0 sheets of paper.’ It’s really stupid, but I think it’s funny,” Davies said. “You can’t really cater to such a mixed bag because everyone’s got their own opinion of what’s funny.”

A select group of the viewers are against the movement, citing the fact that other times they receive artwork by surprise from strangers. The nature of AirDropTM is such, and so while many turn it off for privacy, keeping AirDropTM open is an opportunity to view this emotional artwork in its rawest form.

“Whoever started doing it, it’s really annoying. I got like 10 within five minutes and I’m like who is this? Then I turned airdrop off because I’m like ‘I don’t know you people,’” senior Claudette Roskamp said. “I was just confused and a little annoyed. Keep your memes to yourself please.”