The Psychology of Tagging People in Memes

The Psychology of Tagging People in Memes



Back in my days, we had a thing called “inside jokes.”

These were jokes that specific people knew.


‘What was the purpose of inside jokes, Armani?’

The purpose was to build a bond with someone else.


I like to view it like electricity.


The more that we used the inside jokes with one another, the more we were 2 electrons getting excited within the conductor, and the stronger the plastic insulator around us grew.


We bonded while the rest of the world wondered:

‘What’s so funny?!’


An inside joke speeds up rapport.

That was back in my days…


Nowadays, there is a new version of inside jokes.

Tagging people in memes…


What Are Memes?


Memes are interesting pieces of information that deal with personal experiences, fun facts, society, culture etc.


These content pieces can make us laugh, think, and question our philosophy.

Most people don’t view memes like that though.

They view memes in a very silly way.


But memes aren’t always silly.

A lot of times, memes can start movements or tear movements down.


Humor is a force multiplier.

When a meme has a message AND is funny, it is potent.


On the internet where everything is interconnected, memes spread fast.

So, avoid looking at memes like something silly.

View memes as relatable content that has the power to build or destroy relationships.


Why Sending Memes to Someone Feels Good


The reason that sending memes feels good is because we are experiencing the relationship from a different angle.


Imagine that you were talking to your friend, Bucky, about how inspiring Connor McGregor was.

Later that week, you find a meme of how Conor McGregor used to be a plumber.

‘From a plumber to a fighter? Wow, he’s more inspirational than I thought.’


Rather than just scrolling past the meme, you think:

‘I was just talking about this guy with Bucky! Let me send the content to Bucky and see what he thinks.’


It feels good that you found content that relates to your firsthand experience.

You send the DM to Bucky.

The question is whether or not he is going to acknowledge your meme.


The Importance of Acknowledging Memes


Imagine you send Bucky the meme, and you wait a few hours.

No response.

A few days, no response.


Eventually, you will check to see if Bucky got the meme!

You check the DM and are greeted with a “seen.”


He saw your meme and didn’t even acknowledge it??

What the heck!!


On a surface level, this doesn’t seem like a big thing.

However, to the person who sent the meme, it feels like a big thing.

  • It feels like Bucky saw your phone call, and intentionally didn’t answer it.
  • It feels like Bucky has 0 desire to deepen the relationship.
  • And it feels like Bucky doesn’t want to be friends with you.


You may think I’m exaggerating, but I’m not.

A lot of people feel salty when you don’t acknowledge their meme.

Because it feels like you are declining their invitation to deepen the rapport.


Meme Etiquette


If you are always sending Bucky memes, then I can see why Bucky doesn’t respond here and there.

And if you barely know Bucky, then I can see why he didn’t respond.


We need to go through some basic meme etiquette.


First of all, send memes to someone that you are cool with or are working on becoming cool with.


I’ve heard of situations where a guy will send a random girl a meme hoping to spark interest.

When she doesn’t respond back, he’s salty.


Dude, she doesn’t know you like that!

Talk a bit more, then send memes.


It’s like inside jokes.

You mainly create them once you are on the path to being cool with someone or are already cool with them.

It’s weird if you hop into an Uber and create an inside joke with your Uber driver.

That’s what it’s like to send memes to people you barely know.


The second etiquette is to avoid overdoing it.


People are busy.

They don’t have the time to respond back to every thought you have about them.

Be strategic with your meme sending until you have an intense rapport with the person.


‘Is spamming someone ever fine?’

Yes, it is.

But it’s mainly fine if y’all are best friends or in a relationship.


It’s not fine if you’re spamming a coworker you barely talk to in real life

Keep spamming for rare individuals.

And even then, exercise caution.


The final etiquette is to acknowledge the memes!


I used to have a bad habit of seeing a meme someone sent me, laughing my butt off, and then going about my day.

I never took the time to respond back with, ‘Accurate AF.’


Why is this a problem?

‘Because from their perspective, they have no clue how you felt about the content.’



Nowadays, if someone sends me a meme, I’ll do my best to acknowledge it.

I’ll acknowledge it with words rather than just putting a heart emoji.


A heart emoji kind of feels like a softer version of a “seen.”

It doesn’t feel like a pure acknowledgment.


Just quickly write:

“So true!!” or “hmm… I don’t know about that!”


Power Of Memes


Memes have evolved in the past few years.

Memes used to be like glorified fart jokes.

Super silly.


Nowadays, memes are highly relatable, pack a lot of information, and spark conversation.


Couples can tag each other in memes of relationship advice and ask each other what they think.

Business partners can tag each other in memes to help with strategy.

Friends can tag each other in memes to maintain rapport despite being in different states.


There are tons of potential for memes in communication skills.

It’s a form of content that engages the logical mind and taps into the heart.


Back in my days, we had inside jokes.

Nowadays, we tag each other in memes.


For more insights into media literacy, check out the ArmaniTalks Free Daily Newsletter


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