Memetation Project

Criticisms from a Gym Rat

It seems as though now, maybe more so than ever before, that people are triggered by one of two extremes when it comes to health and wellness. One group appears to have little to no interest in the topic, and has no inclination of preforming any kind of physical exercise. The other group is the variety of hardcore health nuts that follow every new and exotic form of exercise. The people that fall in between these groups often fluctuate in between the two, possibly depending on mood or what is just happening in their lives currently. When taking a look at a typical gym or weight room setting, there are certain individuals or circumstances that always stand out and are either unnecessary or effect the other people that are trying to work out at the same time. These grievances are easily remedied, but can be difficult to break.


Fig. 1. Meme on gym selfies

Workout selfies are an all too common sight in facilities. When a person works, it should be to maintain a specific level of fitness. Snapping a quick picture should be harmless enough, but when people sit in front of a mirror at the gym, fixing hair and flexing, the focus is completely on the idea of working out to look good instead. It is nearly too impossible to escape these, usually gaudy, images. When scrolling through a social media site, it is common practice for some to show all of the users on the internet how great he or she is by working out. A progress picture every once in a while is reasonable, but completely saturating news feeds with these images has been overkill. The text used is meant to enhance the image by making the argument. “This just in” is a phrase that most people are familiar to seeing on the TV when important news breaks. The top text is an attempt at humor, because the bottom is clearly not breaking news and gyms, of course, do not require selfies. Without the text, the image alone would make little sense in terms of the argument that slowing down with gym selfies is a good idea.


Fig. 2. Meme about distractions in the gym

The text in this image is also vital to getting the argument across. Most people who lift weights often rotate days of the week in which they exercise a specific group of muscles. Many memes today argue that “skipping leg day” leaves people with tremendous upper body strength yet tiny, even sickly looking legs. “Thumb day” is a play on this, because in the image, all three individuals only appear to be working their thumbs. The bottom text portrays the real argument which is to stop worrying about cell phones, and get what was set out to do, done. Since more time is spent toying with devices rather than using the machine and moving on, people who had intended to use the machine must now wait or do a different exercise and come back.


Fig. 3. Meme about putting away equpiment

It is truly remarkable how the same people that pride themselves on being disciplined in going to the gym are so mediocre at cleaning up after themselves. When weights are not properly stored after being used, it inconveniences the next person trying to use the same equipment and creates an unruly mess that is time consuming and difficult to clean up. The image alone could potentially stand alone, however that leaves much room for interpretation by the audience. The text in this meme is meant to be whimsical, but still specific to what is being addressed. Obviously, the weights did not get dispersed randomly by themselves and the equipment cannot put itself away.

I did not have much success in sharing these memes in an attempt to make them go viral. Sharing them to my social media, as well as to several other workout sites and pages yielded few results. This is likely because the audience that received them may have found the memes confronting faults that the group is guilty of. The memes would likely be more effective if more like minded individuals between the groups of health nut and couch potato found them.

These arguments are made with the sincerest intentions, while still attempting to get points across. All of arguments made can be boiled down into one simple idea: courtesy. Having respect for the people you interact with online, as well as those you come in contact with at the gym, goes a long way.


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