DePaul culture through meme pages


@depaulalumjoekeery | Twitter

Fanpage @depaulalumjoekeery posts a meme featuring Joe Keery at DePaul in 2014.

Meme pages have boomed on all social media platforms in the last few years, but especially on Instagram. DePaul University is home to many meme pages not officially affiliated with DePaul, but incredibly humorous nonetheless. 

@dpuaffirmations is an Instagram page with thousands of followers. The idea is to post affirming messages and memes that are associated with DePaul. 

The owner of the account agreed to sit down for an interview, but asked to remain anonymous. They shed some light on what goes on behind the scenes of the page, the beginning of the page’s life, and more. 

On Sept. 7, 2021 the @dpuaffirmations page was formed. At the time, it was somewhat of a trend to post personal affirmations and multiple universities have their own pages. 

“The whole joke and idea of it all, there is a page on Instagram called ‘afffirmations’ and they’ve got millions of followers. They started the whole format and everything,” They said. 

Aidan Hansen

When asked if they were in touch with other universities’ affirmation pages, they excitedly showed off a group chat full of these university affirmation pages titled “affirmation besties.” 

“There’s just like millions of us in there. It’s like Yale Affirmations, UIC Affirmations. We’re all in touch and share ideas and memes, it’s really cute,” they said.

The growth of the page was not particularly planned by the creator. 

“It definitely got bigger than I thought, and somewhat out of hand, but in the best way.” They said, “I’d look at the other ones and laugh out loud and thought, well I think it’ll be funny and my friends will think it’s funny, so I just made it and got into it.” 

Although running the page got overwhelming at times, the creator said, “I just didn’t expect to get all these likes, or any feedback on what I was posting. I signed someone’s chest once! I just didn’t expect that stuff, but I’ve made so many friends off it which is crazy and great.” 

They said that the personal connections were one of the best takeaways from running the page. 

“I like being anonymous, cause no one is approaching you. But it’d always be so weird. Sometimes I’d be in the student center and I’d hear people affirming or saying things like “oh yeah I won’t get sick from these hashbrowns,” and I just thought that was so funny cause you don’t even know I’m just sitting here!” They said. “It was just a quirky, fun side of it.” 

They said that when they were in middle school and high school they loved the Instagram pages based around their school that had to do with gossip, but not so much memes. 

When reflecting on if they thought they would ever be running a meme page they said, “It definitely just sort fell into my lap, cause no one else was doing it and I thought I could just delete it if I embarrass myself.” 

Looking to the future, the creator isn’t sure whether or not they will be pass the torch of running the page.

Creator and curator of @dpuaffirmations proves their ownership of the popular Instagram page. (Jonah Weber)

“I have thought about it. Even this year I was sorta burnt out by it. You know sometimes you do get negative feedback, and then I wondered if it was right to continue it. But as the school year ramped up, I decided to keep it.” 

Despite having the love, passion, and care to run the page, all things come to change. 

“For graduation I’ll potentially pass it on, if it’s still relevant by then I’d love to pass it on to another freshmen so they can have the experience.” 

Another DePaul based meme page that has quickly picked up quite a bit of a following is @depaulalumjoekeery. The creator of this page also agreed to an interview, but requested to remain anonymous. 

The page was formed in June, 2022. It has over 600 followers at the moment and is still very much growing. 

“It started when the last season of Stranger Things was going on over the summer. My roommate and I watched the new season and whenever we did we’d call Joe Keery ‘DePaul Alum Joe Keery,’”  they said.

After using this relevant nickname for Joe Keery, the creator took it one step further. 

“One night, I decided to see if anyone had taken this Instagram name and no one had, so it felt like my obligation.” 

Thankfully, no one had. It was the creator’s calling to claim the Instagram handle as their own. 

“And then I was like, I don’t know what to do with this page anymore and my roommate said I had to do memes. Like I did it, then texted my roommate, ‘Guess what I just did.’ It was all impulse, I do that stuff a lot.” 

They explained that depending on what they post, it will get them either a lot more or only a few more followers. 

They also make all the memes themselves with an app on their phone, which they have used for years.

“I try to wait for something to happen on campus for the memes. Just so it’s a bit more relatable. Or I look up Joe Keery reaction pictures and see if I can work off any of that.” 

The creator of the page shared some of their thoughts on memes and the sort of modern sense of humor. 

“Back in like 2011, I wasn’t super into memes, It was around 2016 when meme pages became really big that’s when I got more into.” 

At DePaul, there is another alum-based meme page called @dpu.alum.gillian.anderson. 

“We have beef! Not really,” the creator of @depaulalumjoekeery said. “I always follow meme pages back, but then I saw they put Joe Keery last on one of their memes, so I made the same one and just switched their places. I don’t think they realize we have online beef.” 

How would they feel if Joe Keery knew about the page, or hypothetically if he did, how would they feel? 

“I don’t know if I want him to know,” they said. “My roommate and I go back and forth. Like it’d be so funny if he knew about it, but I also think I’d die of embarrassment if I knew he knew I was making memes about him.”