What Posting This Popular Meme Says About You

Facebook Bill is the first big social media meme 2016. If you haven't seen it yet, he's not related to Bills of the Nye, Mr., or Clinton variety. He's a new form of social media police, a sanctimonious stick figure, who thinks you should be like him. He's also everywhere.

The new meme began with Bill, a simple stick figure in a beanie, who upon being introduced, has one of his praiseworthy social media practices explained, and finishes with the line, "Be like Bill."

Be like Bill enjoys his meal instead

Posted by Be like Bill on Saturday, January 23, 2016
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Bill was created by and unleashed onto the world by Eugeniu Croitor. He created Bill's official Facebook page on January 7, which now has over 1.5 million likes.

Be like Bill

Posted by Be like Bill on Sunday, January 24, 2016
"Bill can be anyone who is smart and has common sense and doesn't do annoying things. You'll also notice Bill can be someone who makes fun of himself, and jokes about others too, occasionally," Croitor told the BBC in an interview.

The meme has since expanded, and grown personal. On this site, you can create your own "Be Like Bill" story. You enter your name, gender, and the site randomly serves up a piece of social media wisdom. If you don't like what you get, you can click "Try Again" to receive a different piece of advice.
Photo: Courtesy Blobla.

For a second, Bill is almost charming, an online force for good. But his pervasiveness and smugness kills that pretty quickly. And, his patronizing advice is completely unnecessary in today's social media landscape. The great thing about social media is that you can choose who to follow and who to be friends with. If you don't like to look at lots of food photos, unfollow or hide whoever posts them (we've got a handy, extensive guide on how to do that here).

Seeing a Bill meme posted unironically on your friend's feed seems to say they think they know better than everyone else online. That in itself is eye roll-worthy. But it also shows something else: their digital illiteracy. In 2016, they still don't know how to hide the posts they find so annoying.

If you are annoyed by Be Like Bill, take the high road. Or, get creative. Dumb memes are dumb. But parodies of dumb memes will always be gold.
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Be like Bill

Posted by Be like Bill on Sunday, January 24, 2016