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There’s hope for those ashy Over-Reposted Social Media Memes

VCR

VCR

Back in the analog days, if you duplicated a document, cassette or VHS tape too much, the quality of the image, sound and video would  degrade in quality as well.  It was a  byproduct of the technology of the time and the tape that housed the movie or record, or ink that was used to produce a document copy.

Real photos, audio and VHS tapes  had limited lives unless professionally preserved somehow. So the information on the carbon copy “run off” handouts you’d get in class at school over time was just hard to read. The color on photos would fade and their edges curled unless you preserved them in a magnetic acid free album.

The advent of digital technology meant we could record, store and duplicate sound and picture and have the first copy look just as good as the millionth copy. The image or song you would hear on the original CD would sound the same the 100th time played. The person receiving the 10th duplication of  a CD could hear the same quality music as the original.

All of a sudden, the shelf lives of movies, photos and sound recordings became infinite. They could be archived  forever on disks, drives and eventually online and now in “the cloud” forever.

But in the world of the reposted social media meme, we seem to be going backwards.

To repost a photo or Internet meme one sees in a social media platform, the user may capture it using mobile or desktop screen capture technology and reshare it within their social networks.

And in the social media generation, it is very common  to see people repost popular memes but update or change the joke or words on them, essentially customize them and add digital stickers and other things on them to “make them their own”, if you will.

short girl memes

I shared this on my Facebook page in 2011. Recently, in September 2013, I saw the image again. Only is was  updated yet with degraded quality two years later and came complete w/extra smiley faces & brand new words with the original wording long since scrubbed from it.

And shameless are those who try to stick their website or social media handle on a meme image that someone else created years ago and has been reposted and shared a thousand times online — all because they tacked on something corny they made up on it.  However,  that tactic is good publicity for your humor site and it’s a great way to track something you create in case it goes viral.

Through recent years, it’s become apparent that the quality of the original image of a meme also degrades in quality as more people repost, edit, add their own spin and reshare it.

everybody

….just like the VHS or cassette tape of our analog days of yesteryear.

And the degradation is compounded by crappy and crooked screencapture jobs and shoddy image editing efforts by those who struggle to get all the words to fit inside the constrained spaces some social media platforms make users squeeze photos into.

And In the end…

The Classic Over-reposted Meme ends up looking  stale and ashy.

kevin hart

But good news!

Recently, it looks as though some software, add ons, iPhone apps, Android apps and extensions to social media sites have functionality that allows for the auto-repost without having to screencapture or download and reupload the image.

There’s hope for the ash yet!

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