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Gen Z’s new internet culture is text-heavy memes.

Aug 11 2021

Gen Z’s new internet culture is text-heavy memes. Also known as “sh**posting,” Gen Z’s new internet language is text-heavy memes—a way for users to “just post their thoughts” via screenshots of text on top of photos made using the anonymous confessions app Whisper and Instagram’s “Create” mode. Instagram accounts including @ripclairo@botoxqueen.1968, and @carti_xcx (and plenty more) are known for embracing the style, and while their posts seem chaotic at first glance, they’re the backbone for how young people are communicating online. Twitter and Tumblr were once known for this same “artform” (if you can call it that), and now Instagram is home to text-heavy meme pages, which have increased in popularity during the pandemic as “young people externalize their innermost id and seek connection,” notes Amanda Brennan, senior director of trends and meme librarian at social media agency XX Artists. Courtney Love even got in on the trend, noting, “I think [Gen Z] is funnier than any other generation I’ve ever known…[they] made me think in memes.” YPulse’s Clicking on Community trend research shows that 44% of young people say that the online groups they’re a part of help them express themselves in ways they can’t offline, and text-heavy memes is one way they’re doing so. (NYT)