Thursday, September 17, 2009

What Creating the Meme Taught Me

Two Wednesdays ago, I posted my very first own meme consisting of 12 random questions. Honestly, I did it because I didn't have anything else to post that first day, and I had always wanted to try one.

I have to say I am receiving a huge kick out of most people's answers. It is great fun, like hosting a party where you don't have to clean your house before and after the party. Just straight socializing! Woo!

Last week, a site called "Sunday Stealing" picked up my meme, which I was happy about, and from there, several other people participated. I tried to make the rounds to visit everyone who replied, but I didn't make it to all.

I have to tell you, I was surprised by some of the Sunday Stealing people's answers. Let's just say I quickly realized that I usually blog within an insulated little world of nice moms. Newsflash: not everyone out there is a nice mom.

What I couldn't figure out is the number of people who seemed to resent the meme! It was like someone forced them to participate. Very strange.

So instead of feeling happy, I left some sites feeling like I had been jostled about on a crowded city bus. I mean, on a city bus, people don't mean to be evil, but they're just not happy to be on the bus, and they normally don't want to chat; they just want to get where they're going and get off the bus. I felt like people were answering the questions when they really just wanted to get off the bus.

Question: Why would anyone participate in a meme he/she didn't like?

I do want to say thank you for being you, even if you didn't do the memes. I appreciate each and everyone of you who read here and occasionally comment. Thank you for being nice and polite and everything. Your moms would be proud.

Other things creating the meme taught me:

1. I like questions that require a little thought and creativity.
2. Some people don't like the thoughtful questions. They want to do shorter ones, the "either/or" ones, like: "Lysol or 409?" So from now on, I'll mix thought-provoking with easy, I guess.
3. I don't mind if people don't answer every single question, no big deal at all. But I am put off when they they get weird and say, "How the h*** would I know???" (I want to reply, "Duh. It's YOUR head we're talking about here. Squeeze your eyes real tight and form a thought," but I don't say that, of course.)
4. Every time I answer someone else's meme, I will remember that the creator may see my answers. I will never be a grouchy, insulting bus rider. I'll either be civil or get off the bus.
5. Once you start coming up with questions, new ones come to you all during the week. You feel obsessed with creating fun questions.
6. I am genuinely interested in reading people I have never met. For some reason, I want to know whether or not they like Twitter and Twilight. Notice I didn't say whether they're "into" Twitter or Twilight. I got called out on that twice.
7. People can take any innocent phrase and make it ... risque. Who knew that "hoist your sails," as in "make you enthusiastic or interested," was a euphemism for a male anatomical event?
8. Lots of people are "into" erotica.
9. Lots of people are "into" vampires.
10. I thought most women changed handbags (or purses, depending on your region) with outfits. I was wrong, at least in my small sampling.
11. I thought most people would answer that they are people-oriented rather than task-oriented, but I was wrong. Maybe that's because to be a faithful blogger, you've got to appreciate finishing something regularly, which means exercising focus and dedication. Just a theory.
12. I never knew that the Bob Evans restaurant chain is a regional thing; I thought it was as well known as Wendy's or Steak-N-Shake.
13. Lots of people like pumpkin spiced drinks.
14. When I asked about leaving a theater before a movie was over, I anticipated that people would respond that they didn't like a movie or were embarrassed or afraid, but most said it was because they got physically sick, except one said she left to go to the car to make out with the boyfriend. :)
15. Most people are wonderful.
16. Some need to get off the bus.

Whew. Now I feel better.


a Tonggu Momma said...

Oh, I am so sorry that some people weren't very kind. That always hurts.

Quilldancer said...

I haven't joined the Sunday Stealing Crowd because a lot of them think snide and petty is funny. For the most part, even when calling you "that woman" I don't think they meant to be mean mean. Many of them just seem to have a remarkably immature sense of humor.

I think your memes are great. I usually don't do memes because what is the point in my choosing 409 over Lysol? Who cares?

I appreciate the thinking and effort that goes into the creation of your memes. That is why I will always put thinking and effort into answering them.

Anonymous said...

That is head-scratching -- why complain about a meme you don't like? Strange indeed. I'm not really into doing memes anymore, but I've enjoyed reading a few -- including enjoying your creative questions.

My ADHD Me said...

It does YET it does not surprise me that people act the way they do. Like you said, in different words, don't like it.....don't want to do it....No Problem. See ya!

But some people just seem to get a kick out of being mean. I really wish I knew why. I like your meme's and will probably do them.

Darla said...

darn, if i had known the bus ride was gonna be that exciting, i would have rode! however, i did not but i promise if i do, i am a happy rider. i think meme's are fun and i think you are awesome for doing one. i'll ride the next time, i promise. :D i love your humor.

Becky said...

I am still working on this weeks questions due to some unfortunate (but non life threatening) events at home.

Seeing as how your new (awesomely fun) meme is all I seem to be getting around to posting I totally appreciate your hard work with every fiber of my being. I hope you continue.

Sorry you've been jostled. If I can't say something nice I don't say anything at all. KWIM?

Christi said...

I vote we kick them off the bus. And I say that fully realizing that I haven't even fully gotten on the bus. Although I have been meaning to.

Good grief, there are enough memes that if they don't like the questions on yours they could go find another one or just answer the questions they want. There is no need for profanity.

Just kick them off the bus.

Anonymous said...

I love the meme questions...but more, I love reading creative meme answers, too! It's hard to tell on a blog the "age" of the responder, too-so don't take it to heart that some jumped in and had fun while others took the idea too seriously. No Bob Evans OR Shake & Steaks up here in the Northeast...but you probably don't have a "Friendlies" or as many Dunkin' Donuts like we do! LOL! OH--btw...I noticed you won an Amy Grant call! LOVE HER!!!

jbanks said...

I may be a little strange, but I will often read a meme and reply only in my mind. At least the questions get me to think! :)

And FYI - Steak-n-Shake is regional too. We don't have any in my part of Texas. No Bob Evans either! Are we deprived or what???

Lisa Laree said...

Love your bus analogy! I'm with you...why do something you don't want to do if you don't have to do it?

And I have to rather sheepishly admit that I haven't participated in the meme yet...even though the questions were very interesting...just because I've not really had time to think about 'em properly. I *will* participate one of these days. ;)

BTW, I just came over from Bloglines to comment...this is the first time I've actually seen the new layout...very fresh and pretty! (You're *still* Waiting On The Phone Call??)

Kelly said...

Like I always say, mean people stink!!!!

Pam from alertandorientedx4 said...

Sigh. No Bob Evans. No Steak-N-Shake. Bet you don't have Blakes Lotaburger or Dion's Pizza tho'. Not that it's a contest or anything. Seriously, thanks for coming up with this IS lots of fun. I kind of think I want to do one. But maybe not. I'll just send you interesting questions to use. If I think of any. :-)

Joyce said...

I enjoy the meme and its something a little different to post each week. I've especially enjoyed hopping over to people who link up (no hidden meaning intended!) and visiting new blogs.

I read something on another blog about nasty commenters and I really don't get it. How many blogs are out there? Must be trillions...feels like it anyway...why keep coming back and reading one you are in oppostion to?? Too much time on your hands I suppose. Some people just enjoy being nasty-that's how they roll. I try to steer clear of those people.

I looked at this as fun...I like a mix of serious/not serious. And I hope your day is filled with happy today.

sara said...

Linda, please don't be pressured into making the questions less thought provoking! the reason I joined this meme is b/c the questions made me think!!

And I can't imagine why someone would join a meme they didn't like...that seems crazy.

btw, Steak-n-shake is regional too!!!

Chel's Leaving a Legacy said...

Somehow that first week I found myself on some of those blogs doing the "Sunday Stealing" thing. I read a few and realized as you did that not all bloggers are alike. :-)

I personally enjoy your memes and enjoy someone else prodding around in my head once in a while.

Thanks for the bus ticket. I think I'll ride a while. :-)

Anonymous said...

I had a previous meme picked up by Sunday Stealing, and at first thought, "What a neat idea!" But then when I went to the site, the meme just below mine showed the back of an unclothed lady, and the first few participants from the meme had risque answers. I didn't respond to the site and removed links to it from my blog. I wasn't sure what else to do -- I wasn't sure how it would be received to say to them, "Thanks, but please don't invite me to your party." I figured that might garner more of a negative reaction.

I don't know why people participate in memes they don't like or don't have answers for. If they have nothing else to say except to participate in a meme and then gripe -- why blog? Who wants to read such answers? Even with the regular memes I participate in, I might skip one if I just can't come up with anything that might be interesting. I don't understand people.

It is amazing what innocent phrases can be given a sensual meaning by the lost world out there. It reminds me of that verse, "Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled" Titus 1:15.

I like the mix of thoughtful and lighter questions. With twelve questions, it would be too much if every question were a deep, thought-provoking one. But I'm like Quilly -- I wouldn't be into one that was all "fluff" unless I really just didn't have anything to do. I can imagine the challenge of finding the right mix.

Thanks for creating this! And I agree -- some people need to get off the bus.

Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

For quite awhile now, I don't even find myself venturing to new blogs for that very reason...I'm content in my blog bubble of nice moms for now ;)

I think you're wonderful. I also think a lot of people are just very rude. Totally annoys me.

bensrib said...

"Squeeze your eyes real tight and form a thought"

The line of the day. I almost fell off my computer chair laughing. Thanks for sharing that.

PS. I'll be a happy bus rider too.

Dawn said...

What you learned was so interesting. I was particularly struck by your comment about "squeeze your eyes and make a thought". I actually laughed outloud. It is strange to realize how small we are in the whole world, but maybe you learned also that are little part is much nicer than the big scarey world ; )

The Bug said...

I was surprised at all the task oriented people too - I thought I would be the only weird one. Not that you guys are weird or anything :) My husband bought a little sign for my desk that says "do I LOOK like a people person?" Although your question was more about how you approach a problem, not about whether or not you like people. Heh.

I enjoy reading all the answers too. I think it's so much fun to hear how people who live in different places think and eat & what they do with their time. We might be the United States, but each state is its own little microcosm of weirdness. Great fun!

H-Mama said...

After our 'people' experience, my hubby and I always say... "People are people and as long as there are people, they are going to be people. Aren't you glad you're not a people?" ;)

I think you and your memes are just great.

SusanD said...

I love your meme and your blog. I always, ALWAYS, come away smiling and challenged. I read you everyday tho I don't always comment.

You stated your thoughts very nicely, very PC if you will. The bus analogy is awesome.

Blessings, SusanD

Amy@My Front Porch said...

I have been equally surprised when I stumbled on some not so nice blogs...I like my bubble just fine -- thanks for being the kind of blog I like to read :)

And I agree...why in the world would you participate in a meme if you didn't like it?

I hope you don't get discouraged and quit though because I had fun with it and I'm looking forward to next week :)

Dawn said...

Sorry you had a rough bus ride. I think I've ridden the same route a few times.

For the most part, bloggers are a good bunch. It is true that you do tend to read and attract readers of similar mind, heart, values, etc. It can be a little shocking when you stop outside your normal "bus route."

Blessings, Linda!

Merrie said...

Oh, Lid... how horrible... some people just seem to enjoy raining on somebody else's parade! Also, some people were not trained and taught that "if you can't say something nice, then don't say anything at all!"...
I have been so guilty of not commenting or blogging lately. We have just been having some battles and so did not want to "expose"... to the point that concentration and putting 2 words together has been an impossibility.
Besides keeping 3 little precious ones that are 3, 2 and 1 ... beginning at 6 in the morning
I've appreciated you and your faithfulness. I will try to be more faithful to read, comment (NICE things) and blog...

Greg C said...

Tell it like it is Lid. I followed some of the treads from Sonya's Thankful Thursday post. You know the one I am talking about. It is supposed to be an inspirational post where one thanks God for all their blessings. This one blog that I went to said; I am thankful the %#*% neighbor of mine didn't do something or other and he can go straight to you know where. I thought; someone missed the point here. Time to get off the bus.

Susanne said...

I thought the same with the few Sunday Stealers that I read, why are you doing it if you just want to gripe about the questions? Weird to me. But I'm happy with the bus ride. :v)

I am soooo naive. I never would have thought of a risque meaning for hoisting your sails or the word "into". Guess I'm in the happy mom blogging bubble too.

Kaye Butler said...

I've been so busy! I've missed everything. I'm catching up TODAY!

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Love it. Everything very well said. Love your analogy of the bus. I didn't know Bob Evans was not national either. Love #3 about squeeze real tight...Didn't know about hoist your sails. One person left the theater to make out. That's funny. Not really but yeah it is. Has to be a teen.

Melanie @ This Ain't New York said...

For some reason the Hail To The Bus Driver song just popped in my head!
Maybe we should rewrite the lyrics to make them pleasant and more suitable for The Lid.

Kelly Combs said...

Okay, what does being 'into' something have a bad meaning about? I didn't know.

People are mean! I don't know why either.

I haven't done the meme yet. Honestly, anything over 10 questions I find overwhelming. Yes, it's only 2 over, but I prefer a nice 7-8 question thing. I'm of the Twitter generation, Lid. Give me 140 characters. LOL!

Plus, I don't do alot of meme's. Usually I save them for when I have writers block. LOL! But I will do one, girlfriend, so that you will feel the love.

So, skoot over and let me on the bus. But I'm just taking a short ride to the next stop. Then I'll give you a quick hug, and thank you for the ride. :-)

Anonymous said...

I LOVE your meme, the thought-provoking and silly questions. Keep it up, and don't let the naysayers get you down. You're exactly right, no one forced them to participate!

Mocha with Linda said...

I hear you (well, I read you!) and I'm sorry your adorable meme was misused. I loved it. And I'm glad they had they didn't link over here. The first one I clicked on had an objectionable content warning.

Having said that, I guess it's just a reminder that sin and evil rule the world. Keep on letting your light shine before men!

And please don't ever throw me under the bus! :-)

Katie@The Baby Factory said...

So I found your meme through Amy @My Front Porch--this is totally fun! I made mine into a video post :) It was super fun! Feel free to stop by and see it!

Carmen said...

Why DO people participate in something they don't like? I guess it comes down to being sheep...and...that's not a compliment.

Oh, and I rarely switch purses to go with my outfits...I really should stop buying so many purses...I just really like them. The weirder the better too...hmmm....

Cyndy said...

Okay, so now I'm sitting here and wondering what restaurants we have out here in the west that are regional and I think are national??? No Steak-n-Shake or Bob Evans this side of the Sierras. ;-)

Susan said...

Isn't it so sad when we find out that there are some "unkind" people out there? I mean, my goodness...why would you even participate if you were going to be bitter about it?

My boss calls those people "pinched" cause their faces look like they are.

I'm glad you're an ambitious blogger. I'm glad you came up with the meme. In some ways, it's helping me breathe life back into my blog!



2Thinks said...

Tell it! I applaud you.

You do know, of course, that I tried to participate in your meme. I wanted to very much. But I am slow and even slower than that at 1 a.m., which is when I was trying to participate. I had trouble with the obvious- like how to get the questions over to my blog. But hey, I can admit it! I'll do it next time. I will. I'll get there.

And I will not be mean.

Feel the love...

Abiding Branch said...

Oh my my my!!! Well I love the Meme! I have had so much fun!!!
love ya girl with all the love that Christ has!! :-)

hinesight said...

I wonder if people are snarky about memes because they are embarrassed - the larger 'blog culture' is disparaging, I think. I love memes, and I loved yours. However, I've noticed that people can start out with "I can't believe I'm reduced to a meme for my entry ..." or words to that effect, as if memes are somehow less valuable or simpler than another kind of entry. (They are simpler, but that's why I like them! Someone else has basically written your entry for you. To which I say, Yesssss!)

Sorry people were so unkind - that's really unnecessary.



truth said...

I too am surprised at the rudeness of people and why do they bother. But given what I've seen lately on t.v. from Serena Williams, kanye west, athletes, and the list goes on, I shouldn't be so surprised.

Oh, and I had to laugh at the Bob Evans/Wendy's comment. I have no clue what a Steak-N-Shake is.

Sue said...

Sweet Linda... you can hop on my bus anytime you want & I'll never try & jostle you about. (And I don't mean that in any sexual or inappropriate way btw!)hee hee

I for one am loving your thought provoking questions and I am so sorry that others have made it not as fun for you. I really enjoy your sense of humor and your blog is one I enjoy coming to!

Have yourself a GREAT weekend and shake off the other stuff ;-)