The Brief: An image of a streetlamp shining on a man reading a book, while a man on his phone sits in the dark is the base of a meme format about things that get disproportionate amounts of attention.
These streetlamp memes are based on an illustration of two men sitting on a bench while a street lamp shines a spotlight on the one reading a book while the other man, who is looking at his phone, remains in the dark.
The original image used in this meme format was created by Mojtaba Heidarpanah, a cartoonist and illustrator. After it was posted to the artist’s Instagram, this illustration has spread to Imgur, Reddit, and beyond.
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On the Dank Memes subreddit, these street lamp memes are being used to make points and jokes about how certain things will have a “light shone on them” while others are stuck “in the dark.”
The original image seems to hold some commentary about reading books vs looking at one’s smartphone, but these memes go in another direction. Somewhat similar to man and woman microphone memes, this image macro is being used to comment on disproportionate amounts of attention that certain things get.
This meta-meme directly references the man and woman press conference format:
A more literal (and all too real) interpretation of the street lamp meme: