Tumblr user hearthurian initially started his account to share his interests and artwork with followers, but recently he needed to share a creation of his father’s in order to generate some appreciation. It turns out hearthurian, aka Arthur, was bothered that his dad’s share-worthy meme got no love from colleagues. Like a good son, he posted the objectively funny meme to his account and has garnered notes from nearly 75,000 users with impeccable meme taste.
Arthur explained to his fellow Tumblr users, “so my dad is a college professor and he just got alerted recently that in an effort to go ‘paperless,’ the faculty is having their printers taken away. My dad decided to take this opportunity and… create a meme? So he goes proudly up to me and tells me ‘I created a meme!!!’ and lo and behold…” presenting the meme for inspection. Though Arthur’s dad was rightfully proud of his creation — an image of a police officer in riot gear chasing a looter, baton raised, with a large office printer Photoshopped into the looter’s arms — Arthur lamented, “he emailed it individually to other faculty and nobody gave him any acknowledgement, he came into my room all sad. pls share to give my father the meme support he deserves.”
Kudos From Strangers
In his Tumblr bio, hearthurian notes, “I’ve been becoming more and more into self care, positivity, and learning to grow as people and maintaining an optimistic outlook in life so I reblog a lot of posts pertaining to that.” Judging from the positive responses to the meme, social media users kept their comments in the same spirit. While the post was reblogged thousands of times on Tumblr, it jumped platforms to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as well, to uniform support. iamthisguy247 rightly noted, “Most of the truly great artists were not appreciated in their time.”
On Twitter, where the meme has receoved 566 retweets and over 3,000 favorites, @Jopomeister praised hearthurian’s dad thus: “genuinely a high quality meme for the situation. I’d work with him.” Another Tumblr user, and student at hearthurian’s dad’s university, noted, “Tell your dad his quality meme gave this CSU student a good chuckle (and several hysterical giggles) and that several of my professors share his opinion and humor lmao.” Though some debated the university’s choice to go paperless, most responses were simply in the vein of, “Way to go, Dad.”
Show Some Love
The viral post isn’t just noteworthy for its quality, but its kind intention. There have been recent coordinated efforts to spread more empathy and love online to combat the pervasive negativity across platforms. In 2013, The New York Times published research to suggest good news spread faster and farther than bad news online. Just a few years later, in 2018, the Pew Center for Research published new results suggesting social media was trending more negative, causing anger and depression in its users, and promoting social isolation.
Posts like hearthurian’s are meant for the express purpose of showing love and support to someone. Other coordinated positivity campaigns celebrating differences in body size, abilities, backgrounds, and gender expression have gone viral to great effect, particularly among younger users. According to The Atlantic, Generation Z is considered both socially conscious and social-justice oriented. While platforms struggle to balance free speech concerns with anti-bullying initiatives and instances of hate speech, only individual users can turn the tide. Carving corners of positive feedback out on these platforms can help restore some balance.
In any case, Arthur’s dad’s meme has finally received the cheers it deserves. We await his next effort.
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