What Is A Meme?

I’ve had to explain to my parents and to a few other people what a meme is many times. I’d imagine you’ve had to do the same, and it can be hard to do. So I figured I’d make all our jobs easier by making this post, so the next time your uncle asks for the third time what a meme is, you can just send him this URL.

A meme is an internet joke that is shared quickly via social media and edited so there are many variations. These variations are the key because otherwise, it’s not a meme, it’s just something funny.

An OG meme that you may be familiar with is this success kid:

Image result for baby sand meme

This image is a meme because the text that accompanies it isn’t always the same and it’s easily recognizable. Here are just a few examples of this meme.

Image result for baby sand meme Image result for success baby meme Image result for success baby meme

See, the image is the same but the text changes to create relatable contexts, and these get shared a lot. This is a meme.

Now, as I said, this is an old meme. This is a meme that the Facebook Moms have found and used. And in this day and age, new memes come up every other week. Sometimes there are several good memes going on at once. It’s fun. Though I should tell you that the above meme style (white block text on an image) is very old-fashioned and a sign that you’re not up on your memes at all.

Where do memes come from? They come from social media. Usually they begin on Reddit, 4chan, Tumblr, or Twitter. Some memes don’t make it to multiple platforms because they don’t get popular enough, or they’re not adaptable to the platforms. Right now, a meme that’s fairly popular on Twitter is this poll meme:

Harry Potter poll meme   Finding Nemo poll memeMamma Mia version of the poll meme

It’s a good and pure meme, if you ask me, and I very much loved coming across it on my Twitter timeline. This is an example of a meme that was very popular for a week or two, and only on Twitter, and will eventually die out. Some memes live long fruitful lives, but most end within a month or two when a new meme rises. People even put together meme calendars. Here is one made for 2017:

I remember most of these. Good times.

Anyway, that more or less is a meme. Of course, like anything, memes aren’t black and white, and there can be some discussion as to what is a meme (are reaction images/gifs a meme? Is imitation without alteration okay?) or how much reach a meme has to have before it reaches dank level (the danker the better) or if videos/vines are memes, but overall, most memes are just silly ways for the internet to have fun collectively. They’re a part of youth culture and a part of internet culture. The internet can be an awful place at times, but for the most part, memes are light and fun.

I hope you now have a good understanding of memes and their relevance to the internet now. Memes are not going anywhere any time soon, so it’s good to know what’s up. And I hope I’ve managed to explain it so everyone can understand.

What’s your favourite meme? Mine is the Shia LaBeouf “Just do it” meme from a few years ago. It was so random and adaptable and funny. (Watch a Vine compilation of it here)

That’s all for now!

 

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