Have you ever met Bill?
Bill is a stick-figure in a brown woolly hat. He’s been popping up on memes all over Facebook lately, making smart remarks and cracking indirect jokes about everything and everyone. ‘Bill is smart’, we are told. The thin guy doesn’t waste time playing Facebook games. He doesn’t dazzle other drivers by putting on brights, and he doesn’t get into pointless online arguments when he disagrees with someone. Bill is, basically, the perfectly balanced, considerate, tongue-in-cheek guy who does his best not to annoy anyone.
Which is why we should be just like him… right?
This meme, which was already around in 2015, started to achieve real popularity at the end of the year, when an Italian page called Si come Bill (Be like Bill) received more than 226,000 likes in less than 3 weeks. Its Spanish counterpart, Sé come José (Be like José), was launched on the 2nd January 2016, and in less than 4 days, had more than 405,000 followers. The meme has spawned other foreign versions, including Bilial in Arabic, Rashid in Malaysia and, last but not least – Ċikka in Malta.
Ċikka, like Bill, is a smarty-pants. Although she’s single, Ċikka does not moan about it on Facebook. She does not beg for attention by tagging herself every time she is at Mater Dei hospital, and she doesn’t tell people off for making stupid spelling mistakes – because although she’s got better grammar than them, she doesn’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable (yeah, right). Ċikka, in other words, is an insufferable know-it-all with passive-aggressive tendencies and pretensions of humility.
The ‘Be-like-Bill’ meme has, inadvertently, generated a frustrated and funny response by those who would rather NOT be like Bill. Those who know they are fallible human beings who make mistakes, and admit their imperfections, but are less than happy to be preached at by a stick-figure in a bobble hat. The rival page Don’t be like Bill tells us that we don’t need to let someone else manipulate and dictate to us what we should do. Another droll spate of memes in which Bill is in turns disproved, mocked, threatened, and even killed, is also currently permeating the internet.
Personally, I admit to being of two minds regarding Bill. What Bill says makes sense most of the time, however his patronising attitude annoys the hell out of me. In the end, I tend to agree with the Don’t be like Bill group when they state that you don’t need to be like Bill. You don’t need to be like anyone really – except yourself.
What do you think? Do you want to be like Bill? Let us know in the comment section below.