Say What? Nah, Olsen Got it All Wrong {Fieldguide}

The picture below represents my face while I reading this week’s fieldguide article.

Google Images

I picked this article because I was drawn to the title. “Why Millennials are Making Memes About Wanting to Die” by Deidre Olsen. I was shocked and hurt because I had no idea millennials were doing that. I am a millennial myself, and I don’t see these memes on any social media platform. Instead of turning my back on a problem, I decided to read about it and figure out what was going on. However, I was more upset at not only the tone of this article, but it seems as if Olsen’s opinions about the millennial generation were blurred with writing about the issue of memes and the context behind it. The first sentence said: “Why would anyone willingly risk their health to eat a toxic Tide laundry detergent pod?” (Olsen). Now, I was around and aware of the whole “eating tod pods” fade that was going on last year or two years ago. I was confused because the generation that was eating tide pods were certainly not millennials. It was Generation Z. The cases that were heard about this dangerous and stupid trend were about teenagers. All millennials now are ages 22-38, not 16 years old.

The tone of this post was not only condescending, but it was completely inaccurate and rude. This article was an attack on a generation instead of focusing on the meme that starting the “Eating Tide Pod” challenge in the first place. I wanted to know about the particular meme that Olsen was talking about, not about how “Promised peace and prosperity, millennials have been delivered the opposite” or “Millennials live with their parents longer, and are far less likely to purchase homes or vehicles, let alone marry and have children.” (Olsen). I thought to myself, what on earth does this have to do with memes? Let me point out that each generation has its own flaws. People are so quick to criticize millennials until they need help with their laptop! As an M.A. student and learning scholar, I do not recommend this article to be used for our fieldguide collection. It does not give the correct information, it’s opinion based, and steers off topic from what we are trying to learn about this week, which is memes. It was difficult to digest the rest of the article. The title of the article doesn’t even match what the article is talking about.

I apologize for the rant. On the bright side to this, I do think it was good to read an article that I have an opposite view for or an article I don’t agree with. It’s part of the growing and learning experience!




One thought on “Say What? Nah, Olsen Got it All Wrong {Fieldguide}

  1. Hey Vee~

    I happened across your review while scrolling through the NetNarr landing page and was immediately drawn to it as Olsen’s article is one I have actually analyzed for my thesis. I was perplexed by your review as I noticed from the beginning that you didn’t seem to care much for its content. This surprised me as I found much of the content within the article relevant to contemporary Millennial culture and life experience. Your feelings towards the article are totally valid and your right to have but I do want to provide you with my own understanding of the article for perspective if that’s cool?

    While Olsen mentions some of the misconceptions older generations such as the Baby Boomer generation have about Millennials (like we’re “lazy” or “inane”), I believe she does this to point out the sociocultural environment in which we as Millennials exist. Often, we are called these names by older generations but we are called these names without proper consideration of our economic and sociopolitical context. As Olsen mentions, we were promised “peace and prosperity” but what we got was forever wars and unkept promises–by no fault of ours. Olsen isn’t blaming us. Baby Boomers are blaming us. They are blaming us for their faults. They are the ones who destroyed the economy and skewed our politics and then have the gall to criticize us for still living with our parents and and not having families (as if having a family were not a HUGE financial burden). These circumstances have EVERYTHING to do with the current ways we express ourselves in online spaces (i.e. with memes).

    Memes are an expression of the disillusionment Millennials have with this underwhelming garbage heap of a world as well as are an expression of the absurdity of a world that wants to blame US for all its problems when we are clearly the victims. In this way, memes are acts of resistance in a dark world. That is why Olsen compares them to Dadaism as Dada was an art movement that rose up as a response to the absurdity and trauma caused by WWI. Olsen believes that memes are also a kind of response–from Millennials to the rest of the world. That response is, essentially, “this is a load of barnacles”. Memes are kind of the new f*ck you to the established powers that be and the generations before us that think we’re just inherently lazy and useless as if they had nothing to with the current state of world affairs and economic downfalls. For some, that “f*ck you” manifests as memes about eating Tide pods. For others, it manifests as your typical image macro. It may seem nonsensical but that’s the point–that it’s nonsense because the world is nonsense. Also, why so I want to make sense in a world that allows what it has to happen? F*ck that.

    Anyway, I hope I didn’t come across as too aggressive or dismissive of your own feelings!!! I hope I didn’t step on any toes either!! I just wanted to provide some information and context that may be helpful!!!

    Best always~
    Kelli 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s