The dog in the house on fire is not fine. But on social media, this meme is doing better than well – it has been shared thousands of times and inspired various iterations.
The popularity of the meme stems from the cynicism that the image conveys, which resonates with millennials plagued by a sense of nihilism.
The generation reaching adulthood at the turn of this century live in a world of widening income gaps, drastic climate changes and divisive politics; the better future they were promised growing up nowhere in sight. From this sense of nihilism, the visual culture of memes takes flight.
Millennials borrow pop culture images, including from comics and movies, and layer onto these forms of art pithy observations on a range of issues, from the social to political. The result: readily shareable memes that tap into universal fears, allowing anyone with Internet access to join the conversation, and through misery, find company. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a meme finds its worth in a thousand conversations.