A Pit of Memes to Warm Our Hands Around

Sometimes I think of our meme dependencies as analogous to the Harlow monkey experiments. Those were the ones where psychologist Harry Harlow provided baby monkeys with the option of two fake moms. One was a metal frame with milk bottles attached to it, and the other was furry but had no milk. All the babies chose the furry one, because it was comforting.

It’s kind of like when we have to make the choice between, say, a book we really enjoy and spending another hour scrolling through a load of memes. One of these things gives us the mental nourishment that we need, and the other provides a level of comfort we don’t feel like we can live without. Can the two be intertwined into one, all-giving, all-entertaining monkey mommy? It may not be that simple. In fact, it’s probably a lot more than poorly explained scientific experiments can account for. Best to switch off the thinking part of the brain and switch on the part that goes brrr.