Monday, February 16, 2009

mime versus meme

There's been quite a bit of meme-bashing lately, specifically facebook's viral "25 things" meme, where the narrator lists 25 random facts or self observations. Narcissistic? Perhaps. Revealing? Depends on the narrator. Too much information? Interestingly enough, rarely.

No one really "reads" a computer screen. We scan (which is why I'm a little dubious of "reading" on a Kindle, but to each his own.) Anyone who is tagged with this or other memes, such as the "initial letter" list can choose to skip around, picking random facts randomly, read religiously and answer with a list of one's own, or skip entirely. They're flying fast and furiously on facebook, being pasted into blogs or sent via email, but facebook seems the source and best home for this "getting to know you" activity. My favorite meme of the past few days is the "15 favorite albums" meme. Not only was it difficult for me to think in terms of albums - iTunes has made me even more song-centered than I was already - but it forced me to really think about what albums were on repeat in my head and in my life. My daughter will probably only have a similar sort of experience with DVDs of her favorite movies.

Reading other folk's lists as they post them is proving fascinating. Not only giving me a slice of their life, but also nudging me towards checking out some new or not-heard-in-a-long-time music. That sort of information sharing can only lead to good things. So give memes a chance. You never know what you might find out.

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