Ok, so let’s look at this meme: Well, it’s a collection of memes:
What the images and text relate is some form of stereotypical knowledge of the culture that is referenced, such as a pizza ticket in Italy and copious amounts of snow and men in short-sleeved shirts in Finland. Not only do these images reference these cultures, but they also augment reality — they make ridiculous statements about the culture, like the baby chugging a beer bigger than his head.
I first saw the “Meanwhile in Finland” image while browsing on Tumblr, and soon saw the rest. I sent the “Meanwhile in Finland” image to a few friends last year in January, after one of our snow storms, to tell them that we don’t have it so bad as some areas.
What I’m trying to say here is that these images, while created to entertain, can also be used in different ways than just entertainment — they can be used to relate the message that, “We may be freezing here, but look what it’s like in Finland.”
Culture-related images took off along the lines of “Meanwhile…” until I saw the “Meanwhile in Google+” image.
While the previous images in this collection of images are presenting cultures and behaviors, the last image is showing us an online culture and place, G+, and relating it to an empty, lifeless desert.
The image is wrong for my G+ experience, but I can understand how the thriving atmosphere of facebook can create a desert-like experience to anyone who tries out the new system, expecting a similar experience.
Deserts harvest life, too. You just have to know where to look.