If you haven’t already met stick figure Bill, the new meme teaching you manners, it is time to know the viral piece of media. The only way you could have missed this is if you do not have an active account on a social media platform.
The stick figure named Bill is meant to be the master of politeness and manners, and it has been used for several weeks now to express the frustration of people who have to deal with difficult persons. For instance, Bill does not take photos in every bathroom he enters, he does not post pictures of every meal he eats on Instagram and he does not tweet every single thing he does. The purpose of the meme is to teach annoying people how to behave in public, especially in the virtual world.
It seems that only this weekend Bill has appeared in millions of posts especially on Facebook and Twitter. Some say the reason for this is psychological: the meme gives people a sense of superiority when posting it. Some have even designed all sorts of applications that automatically generate a Be Like Bill scenario for you, as we can see on Facebook. These apps also replace Bill’s name with your own, thus giving you a compliment and the possibility of receiving many likes. As a result, it feeds both your ego and your need for acceptance and validation.
But what is exactly a meme? Well, the term has appeared sometime in 1976 in The Selfish Gene book by Richard Dawkins. The word “meme” comes from the Greek “mimeme” and refers to something that spreads or imitates. However, nowadays the term means online content that is constantly repeated.
The Be Like Bill meme was created by Eugen Croitoru, a programmer from Moldova. Bill has his own Facebook page, managed by his creator. Croitoru defined Bill as being a fictional character that sends messages in funny but often sensitive ways. However, he is not linked to any real life persons.
In the end, this whole invasion can be truly annoying to some people, but then again, what viral meme is not? If you are already sick and tired of stick figure Bill, the new meme teaching you manners, you can be rest assured that he will disappear as quickly as he conquered the virtual world. Memes usually have fairly short lives.
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