Internet humor, even the humor that is mediocre at best, has a powerful way of speaking to a wide audience. When memes, blogs or other commentaries are published, their hyper-reproductive nature allows them to make a big impact in a short time. Below there are several popular pieces of internet humor that are associated with global engagement. You may have seen them before, as a pre-departure student. As someone who is studying abroad currently, how do you respond to these jokes? Do they seem more or less accurate? Do you have a new spin you could put on them?
"The World According to Americans"
"First World Problems" meme. Click on the image to be redirected to a site with loads of examples.
Stuff White People Like
is a blog-turned-book that delineates aspects of White American culture that may be surprising. Included on the list is STUDY ABROAD! What do they have to say? "In addition to accumulating sexual partners, binge drinking, drug use and learning, white people consider studying abroad to be one of the most important parts of a well rounded college education." Read on if you're brave enough.
I Studied Abroad in Africa!This Tumblr collects images posted on Facebook of the typical American-girl-goes-to-Africa poverty outreach/tourism trip and provides 100% sass in response.
The comments left by the subjects' facebook friends usually suffice, though.
SIDE NOTE: There is of course a conscientious American contingent that fights back against these internet-style Negative Nancies. Here's an example of backlash to the first image posted, "The World According to Americans," by www.xkcd.com.