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Malick Ba

I Dream of Memes: Internet Culture and Influence

April 18, 2017

About a month ago, I was having a discussion with Dak about the Grammys. While none of us actually have cable, we both knew of several alternative ways to stream the event on the internet. When I had asked him if he’d tuned in to the “prestigious” (I use that term lightly…Re: Cee Lo Green) event, Dak simply said “I watched it through Instagram.” From that alone, I figured Instagram broadcasted it live, but no. What he meant was that he kept up with it through the influx of memes that had come out about it (again…Re: Cee Lo Green). That had me thinking a little bit. Is this how people keep up with events now? Live updates are nothing new, but memes have almost transcended actual text or broadcasted information.

Remember when people live tweeted events on Twitter? This is exactly what memes have become. This isn’t subject to the Grammys either. Think about it. If you’re like me and are extremely active on Instagram, you’d know that there are memes about literally every big event. NBA finals? There’s a meme for that. Grammys? There’s a meme for that. U.S election? There’s probably memes about that disaster every single day.  The point is that meme’s are apart of internet culture in ways that I never really thought of. While I still think doing research and not taking everything you see on the internet at face value is still extremely important, but memes are accessible to youth culture. Dare I say that this is one of the reasons why Twitter is becoming replaceable?

While I know people are still actively live tweeting, but just based on the number of meme accounts that exist on Instagram, there is always some sort of way to provide information in a comical way. It’s interesting to see the progression of meme culture. It works so quickly that within moments of any big event you can guarantee that someone online is in the process of making a meme about it. At the base root, it’s influencer content. If you own a popular meme account like fuckjerry or Daquan, you have the ability to post content through memes that may influence someone’s train of thought on any given subject matter. While it does seem a bit ridiculous to say that memes equal quality and truthful information through these influencers, the point still stands. People use memes to present information (comical or not).

That’s a lot of information to take in about internet content, but I really feel like memes are a prime example of alternative journalism. The culture around them for the most part is rooted in humour, but the fact that Dak was able to keep up with the Grammys without actually watching it on TV or tuning into a live stream was proof that they are important. Important in not only providing comical relief for events that may be serious, but providing information to a generation that’s not necessarily tuned into traditional media outlets.

Malick Ba is an advertising and marketing specialist currently living in Toronto, Canada. As an alumni of both the University of Ottawa and Humber College, Malick specializes in communications, advertising, and marketing. Currently, Malick works at an advertising agency in downtown Toronto and is looking forward to how he can further leave his mark upon the advertising and marketing world. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

Dakarai Turner

Is Instagram a Young Man’s Game or is There Room for Your Parents?

December 27, 2016

The holiday weekend: a time for family, presents, and heated debates around the dinner table. While some families may have been arguing back and forth about President-elect Donald Trump, or any of the other crazy events of 2016, the subject of social media came up at our dinner table. With a wide range of ages present, Instagram managed to makes its way in the discussion. It goes without saying that Instagram is primarily a ‘young persons’ platform, with the majority of their active users fitting in the 18-34 age range. But as we’ve seen with Facebook and Twitter, the older generations tend to catch on eventually and next thing you know you’re getting a follow request from your parents. This was part of the discussion over the weekend. Instagram is a young persons game and is of no interest to those of a 50+ age range. Below is a visual representation of me listening to the family discussion knowing that I will spin it into an article later.


So what makes Instagram look like the hip teenager in comparison to other social networks like Facebook and Twitter?

Instagram is visually appealing

I appreciate you reading this and all of our other articles that can be found here, but most of the time people simply want to see images and videos. Instagram is great for it’s appealing photos and minimal text. This is the direction Facebook has been leaning towards. However, we still all know at least a few people that put their whole lives into their status updates. Visuals are the preferred forms of communication amongst a younger audience and this is exactly why you see the GIPHY extension popping up everywhere from iMessage to apps like Tinder. Images are universal and don’t carry a specific language.


Instagram is a form of identity

From personal experience I can say that when meeting someone new nowadays, the phrase “what’s your insta?” comes up almost every time if you want to get to know the person further.

Facebook acts as a birth certificate, while Instagram is your passport.

Instagram is that visual representation of the life you have, aspire to have, or simply want others to think you have. It is personal branding on steroids whether you stop to realize it or not. We are living in a time now where we want to be seen more than ever, and the one thing more important than being seen is how you’re being seen. If I look at your birth certificate I will understand the basics of who you are. Now if I look at your passport (assuming you’ve traveled), I can get a sense of your character.

Instagram is ad-free

Aside from sponsored ads that millennials filter out anyway, Instagram as a platform reads as ad-free. Brands have learned how to speak the language and adapt in the ways that young people use it. This means that their posts will generally not have giant 50% stickers on them or even prices for that matter. They will use their profiles for branding purposes in a non-intrusive fashion. One that blends well with your friends posts as well. Check out Air Jodan’s Instagram for a representation of this idea below.

⬛️ + ⬜️ The #AirJordan III Retro 'Black / White' drops Saturday.

A post shared by Jordan (@jumpman23) on


So what do you guys think? Are there some other reasons that Instagram isn’t appealing to an older audience yet? I’d love to know your thoughts! Leave a comment below or simply reply to the Facebook post here. Oh, and make sure to follow me on Instagram.


Dakarai is an ambitious professional with a passion for advertising and marketing, and is currently employed as an account coordinator for an ad agency in Toronto. When he’s not at the office, he’s most likely trying out a new restaurant, browsing AdWeek, or binge watching something on Netflix. Dakarai, but you can call him Dak. Follow him on TwitterInstagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.