The Affect and the Effect of Micro-Memes on COVID-19 Pandemic in Digital Communication Space

Proceedings of The 7th International Conference on Social sciences, Humanities and Education

Year: 2022



The Affect and the Effect of Micro-Memes on COVID-19 Pandemic in Digital Communication Space

K G Aiswarya Jyothi



A qualitative and anthropological study on new communication practice in internet through image memes circulated in popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube related to COVID-19 pandemic from December 2019 to November 2022 is presented. The digital space is loaded with the memes linked to the pandemic and this paper traces the manner in which the communication is changed with the intervention of memes in text chats during this phase of apocalypse and post-apocalypse and its effect on the mindsets, behaviour and actions of social group. This methodological study examines the linguistic and cultural anthropology embedded in these micro-memes and its accuracy in conveying information related to pandemic is examined through biological, socio-political and economic themes related to this pandemic and its effectiveness in passing information, building awareness and rendering emotional rapport in the internet communication network is examined. The texts or dialogues in the memes is analysed through the tone and style of communication by Goffman (1974) and communication functions by Roman Jakobson (1960). The result of the study shows that the memes created a positive rapport between the sender and the receiver through its unique capability to comment on sombre and thought-provoking matters in creative, humorous and positive manner; it served as a means to ease the discussion of heavier topics and it made the topic more familiar to the receivers. The paper also proposes the strategies to make memes more authentic, readily comprehensible and productive domain for academic purpose.

keywords: COVID-19 Pandemic, Digital Communication, Digital Culture, Micro-Memes, Social Media