Unless you live under a rock or don’t have an Instagram account, you are probably well aware that Drew Insta Memes is alive and thriving, having recently revealed its previous owner’s identity as Brooke Winters (‘19), and passed the torch to another anonymous Drewid, and now the meme account is back at it with some new content. Recently, Drew Insta Memes posted two memes about how Student Government tried to pass a bill to remove the President’s power to veto bills, which suggests that controversy arose amongst Student Government. While the meme account lists in its bio that it is not a real Drew account, one has to consider the voice that Drew Insta Memes has in our community. Certified or not, with a following of 1,055 people it is clear the effect Drew Insta Memes has on influencing our perceptions of news on campus is fairly great.
MEME COURTESY OF DREWINSTAMEMES
While Drew Insta Memes at its best is full of roasts on stereotypical flops around campus, I’d like to argue that its more than just that. Take the SNL Trump skits featuring Alec Baldwin as the man himself. Watching Alec Baldwin impersonate Trump gets a laugh out of you because the skits poke fun at the reality of Trump’s absurdity. You find humor in Drew Insta Meme’s posts about the groundhog, walking to class across icy paths and the rallying cry of making chicken tenders a meal swipe because most of these issues or problems that happen on campus are so common yet unaddressed that we become desensitized to them. It is not until we see the meme poking fun at them that we realize the absurdity of them, like in the featured meme comparing the student response over Madison PD shooting a groundhog to the student response of police brutality against black people, or the one criticizing Commons’ plea not to steal mugs by posting a tiny sign no one can read by the mugs. The fact that students would rather make a change.org petition over a groundhog than address systemic racial oppression, or that Commons thinks a tiny sign will stop college students with no moral compass from stealing dining ware, is unaddressed in our community, and is getting people to respond and comment, which says a lot about Drew Insta Memes’ voice on current subjects on campus.
However, with the more attention it gets, the more it must walk the line between unbiased memes and political ones. Drew Insta Memes replied in a comment to one SG senator who posted on the memes about the veto debate, “I wouldn’t be a media account if I didn’t incorrectly interpret events based upon anecdotal evidence.” In this era of fake news and misinterpretation in the media, Drew Insta Memes is right in a sense. You should believe that, at the end of the day, it’s just a meme and you shouldn’t acquire your news from it. But, as a social media account, Drew Insta Memes has more power than the Acorn to reach a more diverse audience much faster. On top of that, Drew Insta Memes argues that it’s “fake,” but “finstas” or “fake Instagrams” portray a certain “realness” of their owners to a select group of followers. Drew Insta Memes is the finsta of Drew, and there is a select realness to its memes that correlate with our everyday lives on campus. However, since Drew Insta Memes isn’t a registered Drew account, its content is not monitored; therefore, you are witnessing unverified information that will probably shape your opinion on campus topics. What’s real news and what’s not comes into debate given the platform the account has. While I agree that Drew Insta Memes offers a good laugh when you need one, with the continuing growth of the account, eventually we will have to address how this content represents Drew.
Sydney is a sophomore English major.