Why We Post




Identifying with romance

Fang is a 24-year-old clerk at a local post office. She lives with her family in one of the surrounding villages and is not married. She sometimes receives advances from local men, which she refuses. She has a quiet, reserved character, and is clearly shy when it comes to things like dating.

Her social media profile, by contrast, is full of memes about romantic love and devotion. One such meme reads: "But the thing we are lacking is not the person who is good enough, right enough, or dependable enough, but at the very, very end, every one will change and end up needing this kind of person. If you give him a little more time, he will give you a little more time, it's better. Come, let us fall in love without worrying about the time."

Many of the memes posted on social media by townsfolk centre on themes of love and devotion. People generally find it easier to borrow other people's words regarding love and marriage, than they do to write (or speak) about it themselves. 

While many middle and high school students in the town are intensely interested in romance and dating, parents typically do not approve of them engaging in such activities before university, as it is felt to distract from studies. So for younger adults love may be something they aspire to but do not have direct experience of, and cannot describe from their own experience. Even in cases where young people do have romantic partners, issues such as preserving an appearance of decency may also be at play. Memes can show people identifying with romantic values, while avoiding the implication that they are involved in romantic activities.