Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022
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All is fair in love, satire

All+is+fair+in+love%2C+satire
Audrey Buckley

If you’ve ever had a caffeine-fueled breakdown in the depths of the PCL, witnessed a Lime scooter swerving into a pole or waited hours in the Cabo Bob’s line, you understand some of the niche UT experiences highlighted through social media satire. The students behind UT-centric social media satire — from ironic posts on X and Yik Yak to the official UT subreddit — connect the student population’s experiences through humor. 

Recognizing that other students share the same experiences and that your challenges are universal is a comforting phenomenon. There is much consolation in recognizing that you are not alone. 

When we face serious situations that may have been disagreeable, to say the least, reliving the experience in a humorous light eases the stress and curates a more empathetic space. Although mourning a failed exam or a bad breakup is healthy, processing your emotions in a diverting, integrated space can give students a lighter perspective. 


Recent UT graduate Antonio Amine owns meme account with the handle @ut_intellectuals that currently has over 2,400 followers. 

“College is stressful especially when you’re starting out, so seeing something like (these posts) lightens up your day a little bit and helps remind people that they’re not alone,” Amine said. “Don’t be scared to post your observations or your feelings about campus, even if it might seem somewhat unusual. If you want to start an account, it’s a lot of fun, and you will meet a lot of people.”

Many students have struggled with finding friends and tend to feel alienated at a large school like UT. Social media welcomes a broad audience and encourages non-exclusive methods to involve oneself in the UT community. Although liking and commenting on a post is engagement enough, consider creating a meme account or a satire page where you can move our campus culture forward with fresh opinions and ideas.

“Not having a lot of friends in my major, (social media) helps remind me that the school has 50,000 people, and everyone is kind of going through the same thing, more or less, when it comes to academic stress,” biology junior Lauren Elvebak said. “It definitely makes me feel more connected to the student body as a whole.”

The phrase “laughter is the best medicine” holds a profound truth. The rush of endorphins from a hilarious meme unleashes relief. When it comes to student struggles, satire prompts conversation among peers. For example, those who ended up in unfortunate living situations by signing with overly optimistic apartments or have been denied from their internal transfer school can spark unique dialogue in the context of humor and social media. 

Satirical posts can start conversations about more serious issues and allow students to collectively realize when they’re being taken advantage of or when they should speak up for themselves — because they can see clearly that the situation is ridiculous enough to be made fun of by a meme account.

“When it comes to posting memes and humor about college and academics, it can really help people connect,” Elvebak said. “But with anonymous apps like Yik Yak or anonymous accounts on Instagram, it’s also very easy to spread hate, especially about certain orgs and communities within UT.”

At times, social media satire can appear cynical and shallow, instilling negative feelings about certain communities. However, the intent of satire at UT is typically aimed at building community and promoting relatability. Accounts like Amine’s focus on experiences that resonate with a wide range of students rather than singling out individuals or groups in a harmful way.

Social media satire connects students to UT in a broad sense while also helping them find niche digital communities. Humor has long been a source of relatability and community-building, and indulging in social media satire employs a rather timeless form of bonding. So when life gives you a challenge, make it a meme. 

Shenoy is an economics sophomore from Houston, Texas. 

 

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