Be Like Bill

There hasn’t a day gone by in the last few weeks when I have logged into Facebook and not seen at least a million “Be Like Bill” memes (no exaggeration here). The “Be like Bill” meme is basically a way for people to highlight everyday things that annoy them, both online and in everyday life. But who is this Bill, and where did he come from?

Bill is a very judgmental, holier-than-thou and opinionated stick figure who uses the internet and social media without being annoying, insensitive or smug, he even lives life as an extremely smart, caring, polite and politically correct person. Bill is a rare breed.

A little research shows that Bill first popped up about a year ago. But he didn’t catch on until December 2015 when Eugeni Croituru, an Italian man started Bill’s Facebook page. Over 1.5 million people have liked it to date. Croituru told the BBC that the idea behind the meme is a simple one.

‘Bill’ can be anyone who is smart and has common sense and doesn’t do annoying things,” he said. “You’ll also notice Bill can be someone who makes fun of himself and jokes about others too occasionally” (Mashable, 2015)

Many of the “Be like Bill” memes revolve around social media etiquette and several aspects of day-to-day life:

 

Be Like Bill 1

Be Like Bill 2

Be Like Bill 3

Be Like Bill 4

It has become so popular that it’s now been translated into various other languages. In Arabic, he’s Bilal; in Malay, he’s Rashid; in Spanish, he’s Jose and in Urdu, he is Bashir. There is also a female equivalent named Emily.

 

Be Like Bilal Arabic

Be Like Emily

And because, like physics, everything on the internet has an equal and opposite reaction, Facebook users have begun leaving critical comments on the “Be Like Bill” page and one person even launched a Don’t Be Like Bill page (Richardson, 2015)

Don't be like Bill

If those weren’t enough, now you can use the personalized meme generator at en.blobla.com to meme yourself with a “Be Like Me” Facebook function. All you need to do is enter your name and gender and Blobla generates a pre-prepared, self-righteous meme for you to share on your Facebook timeline with annoying captions like “Ommmggggg this is sooooo me lollll.” That was a bit too generic for me to try so instead I used the ImgFlip Meme Generator to meme-fy some of my team members:

Meet Basmah, the health conscious Account Manager

Be Like Basmah

Meet Areej, the considerate Account Executive

Be Like Areej

Meet Malak, the smart Designer

Be Like Malak

Meet Bilal, the beach loving Boss

Be Like Bilal

I feel that Be Like Bill will enjoy its brief moment in the social media spotlight similar to many memes before it (remember The Forever Alone Guy, Y U No Guy, the Grumpy Cat and many more?) but will eventually fade into relative obscurity much like its predecessors.

Let me know if you agree with me?

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