@trumbullmemes: The End of the Decade Meets the End of a Town-Adored Instagram Page

Katie DeRose ‘22
EE Senior Entertainment Editor

The announcement posted on @trumbullmemes on Thursday, December 26, 2019, stating that the account would end on December 31 and featuring Tim Herbst, who was an “icon“ for the page.

As 2020 begins, many reflect on a past decade full of historical growth and technological progress. Within the last ten years, American life saw great changes, especially through the rise of touchscreen smartphones and other technology. 

With this digital surge, a wide variety of internet trends developed, reaching all types of people. As the decade progressed, numerous social media sites launched and soon became an instrumental part of American lives. This media has since been used by both global icons and the everyday man, allowing the cultural phenomenon of memes to spread and evolve.

These social media sites even began to serve as local entertainment hotspots for memes, as shown by the widely popular community Instagram page Trumbull Memes (@trumbullmemes). Starting the summer of 2017, this account posted original memes with local twists on topics ranging from the massive flooding of September 2018 to the former grocery store Porricelli’s. 

Gaining over 8,000 followers since its inception, the account became more of a community, with Fairfield County residents of all ages following and getting involved in the account by sharing photos, videos, and stories. However, this sudden popularity was widely unexpected by the account’s creator, who is a member of the Class of 2012 and prefers to keep a low profile and only be referred to as “Tommy.” 

Tommy said that when he started the account, he did not really hope to get anything out of it. “I didn’t think it was going to take off the way that it did. I just figured a few people my age would follow it and find it humorous. But a couple months in, it became noticed and it was like I struck lighting in a bottle,” explained Tommy.

Tommy initially thought that the account was only going to last a few weeks at most, but it really became a community that was much bigger than he expected. In reference to the account, he said, “I just created it. Yes, I made memes and tweeted some funny sarcasm, but the townspeople were the stars. But through it, I got to put my humor out there to see if it stuck, and it did.”

And for around two and a half years, this local online community was met with nothing but support from town citizens, filling many with laughter and joy. However, as all good things must come to an end, Tommy decided to end the account’s activity on December 31, 2019—the last day of the decade—though the account remains well-loved.

In regard to ending the account, Tommy noted, “Choosing to end Trumbull Memes was a tough decision to make. I’m at a point in my life where I’m getting older, I’m living in New York balancing a work life and a personal life. Unfortunately, I find myself not having the same amount of time and dedication that I used to contribute to Trumbull Memes. 

Considering this high school community, Tommy would also like to note, “A significant reason behind ending Trumbull Memes is that my phone — thanks to a new feature — showed me how many hours of the day I was on my phone for, especially Instagram. There were days that it ran over 2-3 hours. That’s terrible. Our phones and social media have really started consuming our lives more than we know. Sometimes you acknowledge that you need to just look up from the screen and be a part of the world around you. I recommend everyone just take a break from social media, especially as we enter a new year; consider making it a resolution.”

Despite a great outcry from the public after Tommy’s announcement on Sunday, December 22, 2019, that he would be ending the account, Tommy still feels that he is making the best possible decision for him personally as well as for the legacy of the account by ending it. 

“I knew a day would come that I’d feel this way, but Trumbull Memes hit its peak a while ago. I’ve brought it to the best heights I can reach, and I’m proud of that. Now I’d just like the opportunity to end it on a good note instead of milking it to the point of diminished quality,” Tommy said.

Due to the fact that he does not want the account to diminish in quality, Tommy chose not to just hand the account off to an interested fan. A few middle school and high school students started new meme accounts dedicated to the town, but Tommy believes that they will not be as successful. 

“I don’t go against anyone who feels like they need to create another Trumbull Memes, but to me, the sequel is never as good as the original. I think the town’s youths will attempt it, but the right age of a successor would need to be age twenty-four to thirty, like myself— someone who knows both the old and new Trumbull,” said Tommy.

 In a post on the account creating hype for the account’s end, Tommy wrote, “The memes will end. But the legacy lives forever.” However, Tommy himself is a little unsure of what the legacy of Trumbull Memes will be. He even jokes that perhaps a hall of Trumbull Memes could be made in town hall in honor of the account.

“I just hope that Trumbull Memes gave everyone a few laughs during its run. I’m not sure it’s something that can be replicated the same way again, but I hope everyone just remembers and looks back at it some day as we do so nostalgically with Porricelli’s, Video World, and other past town memories. And who knows, some day I can make a return if things align, but for now I have no plans to.”

If you are already feeling nostalgic or you are still just mourning the loss of this local Internet community, Tommy does say that he will leave the account up on Instagram for people to look back on for now. As we enter 2020 without the humor of Trumbull Memes to accompany town happenings, Tommy hopes that you can look back at it with a smile, just as you look at past town memories. Captioning a meme of Tim Herbst, who Tommy made the icon of Trumbull Memes, with the words, “Taking one last look, sir, at my friends,” Tommy wrote, “In three days, an era ends. But Porricelli’s gains a friend. In heaven,” and these two statements could not sum up both the end of the decade for locals and the end of this local Internet trend in a better way.

2 Responses to @trumbullmemes: The End of the Decade Meets the End of a Town-Adored Instagram Page

  1. Avery says:

    Beautiful article, very interesting

  2. Zara de Ruijter says:

    I really liked this article.

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