Anti-Social Is The New Social

Social Media
April 23, 2015

Remember back in High School, when you’d end up in awkward conversations with the cool kids about what you did on the weekend, and you ended up just making stuff up to hide the fact you really just watched the entire box set of The OC, covered in crumbs while crying yourself to sleep to awful emo music? No? What, just me? Awks.

Well, SOCIALLY AWKWARD PEOPLE REJOICE! According to the variety of anti-social memes out there, it’s now cool to eat a whole pizza, binge watch TV, be overtly clumsy and avoid social events like the plague.

Why is it that the tables have turned, and it’s now hip to stay in?

`CASE STUDY #1 – @thefatjewish

The Fat Jewish reaching out with a backdrop of clouds

Instagram icon “The Fat Jew” (real name Josh Ostrovsky) is a tubby, tattooed New Yorker (he has a Jewish star made out of pizza on his left arm, people) who’s making a living out of being bold, brash, anti-social and food obsessed. His 3.9 million Instagram followers are quick to heart his every photo update, and even Katy Perry and Snoop Dogg are loyal ‘Fat Jew’ lovers. Since his digital rise to fame, Josh has signed a book deal, scripted two shows for cable television,and was paid $1,000 to judge a pregnant women’s wet T-shirt contest in Florida. Yep, we couldn’t make that up if we tried.

Through the fame, he still finds time to Instagram once a day, usually with gems like this:

The Fat Jewish Instagram post "Are you still watching this TV show?" Netflix meme

(I think @lama_lime just spoke for me there)

and this:

The Fat Jewish Instagram Post Kanye dancing meme "When someone cancels plans that you didn't want to be part of anyway"

(*celebration emoji*)

As you can see from the examples, The Fat Jew regularly receives anywhere from 125,000 – 200,000 likes a post. That is amazing, especially considering Instagram does not include reposts or memes on their “Popular” page (or so we are lead to believe). It’s completely organic – a dream for most brands.

CASE STUDY #2 – Fuck Jerry

Fuck Jerry












What a name.

Like some sort of conspiracy, Fuck Jerry’s (real name Elliot Tebele) Instagram account also boasts 3.9 million followers. While not nearly as popular offline or prone to binge drinking at celebrity events like The Fat Jew, he does have quite a loyal following across a number of mediums, including Tumblr, which he keeps regularly updated with crackers like this:

When you lied on your resume about being proficient at Excel sad Shaq in business suit meme

(Own up) The real gold is on his Instagram, however:

Fuck Jerry Instagram post When certain people call my phone and I'm waiting for it to stop ringing so I could use my phone again meme

True story: we actually regrammed this for a client and it ended up receiving over 7,000 likes, and to this day is the most popular post they have ever released on Instagram. It pays to avoid, it seems.

Okay, we get it. But why are these anti-social memes so popular?

Israeli researchers Segev, Nissenbaum and Stolero found that memes with a high degree of success are those that resonate with greater society at a particular time. As they state, “A meme that does not follow the mindset of its enveloping society may be met with resistance or rejection.”

Segev, Nissenbaum and Stolero’s study basically explains that if a “Meme family” is strong (being those who identify with the anti-social memes we have been talking about) then the chances for virality increase. Their study revealed that popular culture (26.5%), food (19.1%) and new media (16.3%) were the most popular topics for meme families. In the case of The Fat Jew and Fuck Jerry, their content blends all three topics into the one account, appealing to the masses and generally creating a powerhouse of memes and families. Well done, bros! crawls back into bed