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Post your results.
Post your results.
Image: Mashable/ Vicky Leta

Predictive text memes are all over Twitter for a few cases reasons. First, they’re easy to do: All you need is 30 seconds and a phone; no Photoshop required. Second, they’re in a pliant format with virtually endless room for variation. And eventually, they scratch that bizarre itching many of us feel on the internet: The desire for an online entity — a quiz, an astrology app, a device full of our own data — to tell us something about ourselves.

This particular brand of meme is constructed applying autocomplete, which is available in some form on most smartphones. Apple, for example, says it use your “past discussions, writing style, and even websites you visit in Safari” to suggest the word it thinks you’d like to type on your iPhone next.

While the service is often finicky, I’ve saw it to be genuinely helpful — even though it develops an unmistakable “dystopia! ” feeling in the cavity of my belly. My iMessage app clearly knows material about me: It proposes my friends’ calls, it sheds in a “y’all” where I’d say “y’all, ” and it often accepts I’m talking about hounds( I am ). This establishes it a fairly obliging online Ouija board — for me and for other people who like to mess around on the internet.

Autocomplete memes seem to pop up in time of relative meme scarcity, i.e. when people are super . They request participants to type a phrase on their phones, then post what autocomplete suggests to finish the convict.

Unsurprisingly, these memes mostly involve things everyone is thinking about all the time, like sexuality, dying, and personal identity. Starting in january, for instance, a bunch of people utilized predictive text to write their own epitaphs, which is a gloomy but kind of irresistible proposition. Who hasn’t reckoned their own funeral?( My epitaph: “Here lies Chloe. She was really good at something.”) In February people use a predictive text meme to characterize sex.( Mine: “Sex is not bad.”)

The memes have even invaded the ever-popular astrological room a few times. In March, Hank Green tweeted out a template for a “predictive text horoscope, ” which elicited some merriment makes. And the “I am a[ sign] and that’s why” game — another foray into astrology memes — culminated up being pretty on the nose for a few people.

Well, at least that’s what they said . We don’t actually have a way to know if anyone’s outcomes matched their actual personalities. Frankly, I don’t anticipate my answers match my actual personality, but it was fun to type them out for you in this post. That is, perhaps, the appeal of predictive text memes: As with BuzzFeed quizzes and retweeted horoscopes, the real allure is posting your results.

Devon Maloney explored this phenomenon in a 2014 article for Wired focusing specifically on online quizzes. She wrote 😛 TAGEND

The reason quizzes have proliferated, of course, is the same reason they have any social relevant at all: We share our results with one another. As quizzes have become a lucrative option for online publishers, they’ve also a signifier of self, as indicative of who we are as the profile depicts we select, the music we publicly listen to on Spotify, or even what kind of bath towels we are only bought on Amazon. The merriment isn’t taking the quiz–it’s showing the result to others.

Predictive text memes are a natural next step in this tradition. We use them in the same way we use quizs, which is to share what we want to share online under the guise of “prediction.” Autocomplete results are curated traits designed to appear natural.

Of course, performing a personality online is not a brand-new hypothesi. But it’s interesting to see how the ways we do so have developed in tandem with our relationships to engineering. Predictive text memes are very 2019: They get their info not from a Q& A, but from information you’ve been rendering softly in the background the entire occasion you’ve had your phone.

Sometimes this produces disturbingly on-point answers, like a creepily accurate targeted ad, and sometimes it develops garbage that doesn’t make sense. One of my endeavors at an “introduce yourself” meme, for example: “My name is Chloe. I was born in a new one. My age is a new one. I like to see a new one.”( I did not share this, as it is neither accurate nor acceptably self-deprecating .)

Luckily, predictive text memes are mostly just fun diversions.( As far as memes move, they’re not even especially good .) Even more luckily, you are eligible simply retry them again and again until you get a result that feels right.

It’s your epitaph, after all.

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