Archives for category: Meme World

A look into the umbrella that covers you from the rain and allows you to text while walking into other people

by Lory Martinez

Brolly Umbrella with knuckles

I first saw this story on Gawker, and I thought I’d share it with you all.

“Brolly,” once an englishism used to describe an umbrella, is now the name of a “text-friendly” umbrella designed to allow users to stay dry and still freely use their phones.  The promo for the new gadget is a  parody of what is now deemed a classic “first world problem” : Not being able to text…in the rain.

Check it out:

As a New Yorker, I’ve had this problem, and have been the victim of many a joke by my friends who offer no assistance and instead watch with wide grins as I fumble with my umbrella and phone at the same time.  I would often find myself thinking, “the struggle is real,” as the umbrella falls to the ground and I get covered in rain anyway. But of course, the best part is when I walk into/bump into a stranger who is most assuredly having the worst of days, and swears me into a stupor.

Umbrellas 05

Umbrellas 05 (Photo credit: Jethro Taylor)

Business, I’m sure, will be “a boomin” for the company as this is a common problem. However, I’m not sure this solves the issue of inattention while in motion. Maybe people will bump into each other more often and be more polite to each other as a result? Perhaps we will come up with a way for us to look where we are going while still browsing our phones… but that’s just a pipe dream, and dangerously Terminator-like.

Oh, wait.


A look into online profiles and how much they affect employers’ decisions in choosing new hires.

by Lory Martinez

Spring Cleaning your online presence

This week we’ve done a number of stories on online profiles. And now, as graduation and the real world fast approach, it’s time to clean up,( If you haven’t already) that online persona.  Warning: A virtual suit and tie may be required.

According to a recent study, up to 37 percent of employers check social networking sites before even considering an employee for an interview. Up to 90 percent  of employers are hiring through social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and even, Facebook.

In my recent interview with avid social media enthusiast, Jessie Rubin, we both noted that social media is who we are. As the generation that both created and produced the social media boom, we are indeed defined by our presence on the internet.  Ten years ago, email and instant messaging had only just begun to flourish, slowly collecting a kind of cyberhistory that has evolved and expanded into the myriad of platforms we use to communicate and express ourselves today.

Remember AOL instant messenger? Myspace? Remember the days of funny email addresses we made up for those accounts?

Aol Screenames circa 2002: chatingchuck, and any cat variations thereof

Now as kids grow up in this  “living yearbook” world, they have to be careful, because, in the same way an embarrassing photo from high school can come back to haunt our parents once they are found in the attic somewhere, our  “YOLO” moments can come back to bite us. And those are way easier to find.

So here are a few tips I’ve collected throughout my own years of experience with social media. Special thanks to those who have given me this professional advice and much more over the years.

How to clean up the digital you:

  • Check your privacy settings on all social platforms. Make sure you have to approve things before anyone can post them in association with you. We all ignore those emails from Facebook about updated privacy settings, but be sure to at least check your own settings
  • Google + is a useful tool. Even though a lot of people say it will never become popular in terms of social networking, you can at least help employers easily find you via Google search, and with a comprehensive profile, you can even direct them to your work.
  • Get a LinkedIn, if you don’t already have one. Even if all your connections are classmates, they will soon have jobs in the real world, just like you, and can help you later on.
  • Look through your photos you’re tagged in, make sure the photos represent the best version of you, the one that would make an employer think, “Yeah, I would definitely trust him/her with important tasks.”
  • Have a fancy profile photo or two. You should have a photo in a nice outfit  for your  job search profiles including Google + and LinkedIn. Keep it casual and fun for your other profiles, but maybe leave the beer can out, at your discretion.
  • Opinions are opinions are opinions. Yes, your opinion matters. Yes, it’s just as valid as any other. But be weary of ranting in public. The internet is vast like the ocean but it can also be as tiny as a small puritan town. Don’t be Hester Prynne. Gossip travels fast and so do viral posts, so make sure you don’t end up like this guy.
  • Don’t over-do it. Don’t go deleting your entire profile history and consider starting from scratch. Starting over is fine, but if there are no photos, or posts of you from before last week, it will be as if you never existed before last week. Don’t lose yourself, or your “digital” self in the process. It’s about cleaning up what’s there, not replacing it entirely. As the saying goes, “Work with what you’ve got.”

That’s about it folks. Have fun Spring Cleaning!

A look into Anonymous‘ most recent cyber protest

By Lory Martinez

OP USA Poster

Infamous hacker group “Anonymous” threatened a massive cyber attack on US servers earlier this week  to protest American foreign policy. The plan, dubbed #OP USA, was to be Anonymous’ successful follow-up to #OP Israel, but it did little to no damage to US sites.

According to the group’s press release, “#OpUSA will be initiated on 7th of May 2013 and will target American websites & servers. The hackers say they are targeting the USA for its war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The hackers also said the attacks will be done in solidarity with the innocent victims of american drone attacks especially the innocent children.”

However,the plan backfired and instead reinforced relations between the groups’ victims-the US and Israel- in cyberspace. The Times of Israel reported that Israeli hackers promised to fight alongside American cyber-defenders, if the need should arise. The Israel Elite Hacker team, formed in the wake of #OpIsrael, tweeted, “This is a message from the Jewish Nation to our friends in the #USA,” the group said. “Although we have cowards for leaders, we take care of our friends!”

In the states, our cultural response had less of a “friends stick together” feel. It was simply a matter of memes:

The Internet reacts to #OPUSA

Some food for thought, from all of us here at The Media Review.

A note: Even though the semester is over and our show ended this past week, we will still be bringing you updates and commentary on the media well into the summer. Thanks for listening and reading!


A look into just how the Associated Press Twitter page was the host of one of the most retweeted posts in the short history of Twitter

By Lory Martinez

This is how we read the news in 2013: click “Refresh feed.”

It’s no surprise that when the Associated Press Twitter page was hacked this afternoon, the fake news went viral with over 4,000 retweets before it was taken down.

A number of tweets concerning a fictional white-house bombing in which the president was badly injured were posted around 1 p.m. today resulting in a temporary market plunge and a lot of tension in newsrooms across the country. 

Twitter suspended the account once it was clear the wire had been hacked.

Over 2 million people subscribe to the AP Twitter page. In what has been called the”New age of Journalism,”news organizations have used Twitter as a way to provide readers with live, up-to-the-minute information. 

The fact that people retweeted this and spread false news to the degree that the markets were affected is a frightening thing. One can imagine what would have happened if the White House Twitter page was hacked as well. We would be in chaos! People would be running around like chickens with their heads cut off. All because someone, somewhere hacked Twitter to cause mischief.

It’ll certainly be something to keep an eye on in coming years,

In the meantime I imagine books will be written about this phenomenon…”The effects of social media on the events of human history” or “The internet, and other things that almost killed us in the 2010s…” I’d  definitely read those.

Some food for thought from The Media Review.

Don’t forget to check out at 4 p.m. tomorrow for some more media chatter.



Remember you can listen online on and in case you missed it, look for us on the!


by Alex Baer


philosoraptor meme courtesy of the

           A look into the history of memes and memetic theory
Have you ever wondered why, or how, things just sort of catch on? While nobody might say “sit on it” anymore, plank, or wear fedoras with their three piece suits, they were both at one point common practice. These are what we call memes.

A “meme” is “an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.”
Despite looking like the French word meme (meaning “the same”), meme is a shortening of the Ancient Greek word mimeme, which means “imitated thing.”

The term was coined by Richard Dawkins in his book,The Selfish Gene. In his book, Dawkins explores the concept of treating ideas as living things, that is to say that they can “evolve,” much like life does.

Just like natural selection relies on variation, mutation, competition, and inheritance, to select for certain traits, so too does culture. Memes that do not spread or spread very slowly could be limited by being negatively impacting the people that act as their “hosts.”

With the advent of the Internet, it has become exponentially easier for these memes to potentially propagate and spread themselves out through a population. Before YouTube, there was Email. Remember the dancing baby?

And it’s only gotten better (or worse) from there. Leeroy Jenkins, MAH BUCKET, Honey Badger. Then there are the Advice Animals. Insanity Wolf, Hipster Cat, Confession Bear, 60’s Spiderman. And more are added every day!

While we could include viral videos in our definition, for now, we’ll think of Internet Memes as the ones you might see on Reddit, reblogged on Tumblr, or even on Facebook. For many years, most memes spawned directly from the forum 4chan.

Veteran memes such as Pedobear, Anonymous, and LOLcats call 4chan home. Others stem from the shared context of the userbase: growing up in the 90s, featuring Will and Carlton from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, as well as Milhouse from the Simpsons.

In the years since then, memes have exploded in popularity, with the demise of Digg, the rise of Reddit, and the proliferation of recycler sites like 9gag, Tumblr, and Buzzfeed. 4chan continues to create most of the memes out there, but original content isn’t exclusive to the cancerous site.

There seems to be one for almost every single facet of human interaction, but they can all be reduced to a lowest common denominator: they want to make us laugh. And they do so in a way that wouldn’t be possible outside of the Internet.

The vast majority of “memes” today involve a background (for example, either a stock photo of something, a still from a movie or TV show, or even a funny picture), bordered by two lines of white text at the top and bottom of the frame.

In this way, memes could potentially restructure how we look at jokes. Rather than a contextual set-up to a quick punchline, with the context already delineated, any amateur comedian could get right to the funny part.

By Lory Martinez

                A look into the ways memes and internet trends have changed the way we experience things.



   As Al Gore says in his book , The Future: 6 Drivers of Global Change, “The supercomputers and software in use have all been designed by human beings, but as Marshall McLuhan once said, “We shape our tools, and thereafter, our tools shape us.” Since the global Internet and the billions of intelligent devices and machines connected to it—the Global Mind — represents what is arguably far and away the most powerful tool that human beings have ever used, it should not be surprising that it is beginning to reshape the way we think in ways both trivial and profound — but sweeping and ubiquitous.”

    With an enormous network of contributors from all over the world, It’s no wonder that “Global Mind” has engaged in trivial pursuits such as can be found in trends on sites such as Reddit and Twitter. Our sense of humor has essentially evolved with the medium. It builds, as posts on Tumblr do, with one person blogging and another reblogging a witty reaction resulting in a chain of humorous quips that make internet history by becoming Memes.  

   In this MEME WORLD, we think and speak in joke form and sarcasm and witticisms stroll into just about every conversation we have.  So here’s the question: Is our comical way of looking at things a sign of a global change in our sense of humor?  What will our infinite collection of online visual and audio visual recordings of humanity at its most hilarious do for us, in the long run? When we look at history books(Ebooks) in 50 odd years, what will future generations think of our online witticisms?


   Consider a brief conversation between two friends in a coffee shop. After a few hellos and whatnot, what inevitably follows is a phone ringing (or in most cases vibrating “silently” in one’s bag). Each party checks his or her phone, and finding no messages, one puts the phone away while the other, sees and responds to a notification on Facebook, chuckling. The friend asks, “What’s so funny?” and the other replies, “Oh nothing, my friend just posted a funny status on Facebook. She’s hilarious, she has a twitter you know, lots of followers.”

   They  both check twitter and point out the latest trending post via #firstworldproblems , a tag used to ridicule first world inhabitants complaints about things they are privileged to have. The conversation continues, and one person or other says something funny or witty and immediately takes to posting it on Twitter.

   The previous conversation is surprisingly commonplace.  Because we are constantly connected, we experience existence at the click of a “post” button. One tweet = an affirmation of two things: I exist and I am interesting. This results in an egocentric mindset fueled by our desire to amuse others and get attention for our display of intelligence.


   Though Twitter has been used to spread the news, share photos and report important information, the majority of its users are ordinary people going through the motions of their days, using this social media outlet to vent their frustrations and find humor in otherwise boring situations.

    As a result, we have begun to do things and immediately think about 140 characters to describe them or, in the case of Tumblr users, what a good gif that would make.

    I tried to join Twitter on numerous occasions but found the pressure to be witty a little too much to handle. It’s not that you have to be funny to have a twitter account, but one must recognize that no ordinary status will suffice to spark interest and gain followers. We feel we have to be amusing in order to get attention. As the generation that has created these MEMES, we have brought on a world that calls for entertainment 24/7. It’s no surprise that we have become a part of said entertainment, oftentimes taking the stage and standing on a metaphorical soapbox to tell complete strangers just how we are doing today.  

   For now, living in our world of instant entertainment isn’t so bad; we post and share and laugh and create an interactive human history.  As time passes, we will see just how much more involved we become in this MEME world that has already begun to change the way we look at things in everyday life 

   For those of you interested in the most popular memes of last year and even some of Binghamton University’s own memes check these out: