The meme that I chose to deconstruct today is “Condescending Wonka” highlighting the issue of “online confidence”. I chose this meme because it is culturally relevant about the social interactions observed today both online and in person between individuals. The meme addresses the issue of those individuals who are snarky and mean online and believe they are being witty and in person are the opposite. They have the confidence behind a computer screen and the safety of being online but in person lack that confidence – which the sarcasm of the meme highlights. It positions me as a reader within a larger community of one who understands the type of behaviour being referenced, having seen it online, and the outcome of this behaviour once the individual is away from their safety net of the computer. This community is the new generation today of avid internet users who are present on many different internet sites and experience this behaviour from users; this community may not only include teenagers and young adults but also older adults who are internet savvy and spend a lot of time online. Those working in media and marketing may also have no choice to become familiar with the trends of the internet to use them to their advantage. The meme is using sarcasm and condescension to, ironically, address the same behaviour that users take part in online but are unable to translate that confidence into their everyday interactions in the real world. It I s addressing the issue of how many individuals take liberties online that they wouldn’t in the real world because they have that safety of anonymity and control online while in person they do not; it is highlights the problem of deteriorating self-confidence in people today as they use the internet as a substitute form of a somewhat smoke and mirrors type of confidence. Condescending Wonka’s point of reference is the witty and sometimes condescending manner of Gene Wilder’s portrayal of Willy Wonka in the original 1971 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Its indexicality and templatability would be the tone and image used for the meme which allows for many other situations to be sarcastically referenced and work with the overall structure of the meme. This meme would be a cultural artifact as it captures the silly behaviour and attitudes that are running rampant in our society today – be it online or in the real world – and addresses how some members of society find it to be embarrassing and ridiculous. This specific meme in particular will highlight the mean behaviour of individuals online who can’t translate that ‘confidence’ into their real lives in the everyday world.



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