Assignment 2: Part 1: Deconstruction of a Meme


I chose this meme to deconstruct due to several reasons. Firstly, it is popular and has appeared on social media websites like Facebook, Reddit and Twitter. Secondly, almost all who would see this meme, especially the young generation would find it funny and easily relatable. Another reason of choosing this meme is because it is easy to understand given the image and text.

My understanding of this meme puts me in the community of people who can relate to the similar situation. I understand this meme because I am aware of the character of ‘Fry’ from the animated series ‘Futurama’ used in the meme. The community is all people who either have been following the ‘Futurama’ series and know the character well or individuals who find themselves in the similar situation when during chatting they become very impatient upon late/no reply from other user.

There are two ways to understand the meaning of this meme. One meaning is when we are chatting online and we see a small text in the bottom corner of the chatbox reading “X is typing…” leading us to assume that the other person is typing a response. However, sometimes it is not the case. It might be that they typed a word and did not continue where it shows up as ‘X is typing…” and we conclude that the other person might be typing a huge text and therefore the reason behind a long pause. Another way this meme could be interpreted is when the other user gets busy in some way and does not reply leading us to think if the cause of not replying is that they, in this case, the girlfriend is not talking. Either way, the meaning of the meme comes down to illustrate state of anxiousness and confusion experienced by us when we don’t hear from them for a few seconds to minutes.

Intertexuality is the relationship between two texts that add meaning to the meme. In this case, the top text reading, “not sure if the girlfriend is talking to me” seems complete with the use of graphics where ‘Fry’ is squinting illustrating degree of uncertainty. However, if the bottom text is read alone, “or if she’s typing out a 23 page text” sounds incomplete without the top text. Therefore, overall element of intertexuality is present. Indexicality is not an element in this meme because there is no image like disaster girl (depicting evilness) (1). Templatability is present because the structure of this meme is used as a guide to make other similar memes about uncertainty.

This meme acts an cultural artifact as it describes a situation that can be applied in chats where we assume that on does not reply just because they don’t want to talk to us. However, we fail to realize that it might be that they got engaged with something more important that time and that is why did not reply. We, as online community, get so much involve virtually that we start making conclusions without knowing the whole story.

1. Rintel, Sean. “Explainer: What are memes?” The Conversation. 13 Jan. 2014.


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