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Opinion: Memes, minds, musings

www.telanganatoday.com | August 15, 2023

It has been estimated that when associated with the ten love languages, memes may be able to provide a form of care akin to physical company

As much as they are an amazing way to spread information, memes are one of the best ways to show you care about people. Better yet, they have the ability to combine most love languages that are used by neurotypical and neurodivergent people. Don’t believe us? Let’s take a look!

When it comes to neurotypical people, as per Dr Chapman, the five love languages include words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, acts of service and receiving gifts (Mostova et al, 2022). In regard to neurodivergent people, the five love languages are info-dumping, parallel play, support swapping, deep pressure and penguin pebbling (Stimpunks Foundation, nd). Research by Mostova et al also mentions that when individuals affirm to their partners’ love languages, there is a higher level of satisfaction.

With relationships these days being built through online interaction, there is a possibility that those in relationships may not be able to meet each other offline (Rosenfeld et al, 2019). This brings about the importance of using available resources. As memes are already the frontrunners of communication, it has been estimated that when associated with the ten love languages, they may be able to provide a form of care akin to that found in physical company. Here we deal with these 10 love languages.

Neurotypical People

Words of affirmation

With the recent rise in affirmation pages on social media and increase in the number of dual, triple or quadruple accounts a person can have, memes of affirmation have become a love language that you can share with others and with yourself. With memes giving an individual the ability to put into a picture, a video or a gif their way of expressing love, they are able to express themselves more freely while simultaneously understanding the niche areas of interests that they share with others. Basically, a win-win.

Quality time

Most people say that youngsters tend to spend all their time on their phones doing nothing productive, when, in fact, they are probably out and about on the internet making relationships and spending time with their friends and loved ones. Say, two people live in two different time zones, sharing quality time is not going to be possible for both unless one of them is willing to go about their day sleepy. With people moving from one location to another for jobs, education or out of pure interest, spending quality time with loved ones isn’t restricted to sharing a physical space, and sharing time that people cherish with each other does not need to be defined based on what society expects quality time to look like.

Physical touch

In a literal sense, you cannot use memes as a substitute for physical touch, but what you can do is send memes that display the physical contact you want to have with the other person. Things like virtual hugs and kisses can work magic. A meme around the theme might be able to give people the warm and fuzzies.

Acts of service

What better way to show your love than to send in a carefully curated, multilayer meme that is only understood by the two — or more — of you? The best part about memes is that they can be made from scratch and layered to fit the person/people that you are sending them to. There is after all a special kind of feeling in receiving a carefully curated meme that makes you think of the sender at the most random of times.

Receiving gifts

Expecting someone to send you a gift from the other end of the globe is overkill, especially with the conversion rates and transport coming into play. It’s also not an easy task to be happy with sending memes or simply receiving them, especially when we have been raised in a world that values material and physical presence. But memes are a way to show that they’re thinking of each other and sometimes, this attention can itself be enough.

Neurodivergent People



Barbie and Oppenheimer have been a cultural wave of memes and there is every possibility that there are people out there who have been victims to a barrage of memes questioning and celebrating the movies. Info-dumping in general revolves around sending specialised information that interests one person to another or multiple people. This could be seen through the n-number of memes that someone sends their loved ones one after the next and though it may be surprising for the other, it is a way to share information about what interests a person and their desire to discuss their interest with their loved ones!

Parallel play

Parallel play encourages a sense of individuality even if people are near each other. In terms of memes, an example of this can be when two or more people are sitting next to each other while scrolling on their respective phones.

Support swapping

Sending your loved one memes that act as a reminder takes away from the “chore” aspect of support provision. Moreover, being able to find curated memes that fit the person you send a meme to can not only help them with the activity you are encouraging them to be engaged in but will also likely act as a reminder of you whenever they engage in the activity next.

Deep pressure

Unlike Physical Touch memes, at least for now, there are no provisions to mimic Deep Pressure.

Penguin pebbling

With sending memes acting as a way to show “I thought of you today”, it emulates facts of penguin pebbling that is seen among those who are neuro-divergent. Memes are not expensive and yet very personalised, which makes sharing this with loved ones one of the best ways to show that they were in your mind! In this way, memes act as a way of strengthening a relationship.

With memes being used in such ways to show love and send affection, it is important to keep in mind that love languages are not set in stone, and neither are they for particular groups of people. Individuals can pick and choose their love languages across both and more baskets! People are unique, and so are their preferences.

Finally, the best part about using memes as a love language is that since you may commonly interact with memes that you share with your loved one, you are showered with small reminders of them every time you open your ‘for you page’.

Happy Meme-ing!

This article has been authored by Liz George, a FLAME alumna, and Prof. Moitrayee Das, Faculty of Psychology, FLAME University.

(Source:- https://telanganatoday.com/opinion-memes-minds-musings )