Why are internet meme’s so popular?

Kafayah Runsewe

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Our social media have been flooded with vines and trending challenge videos but most especially by memes.

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Mad About memes picture logo. Copyrights by MadAboutMemes.com

I have always asked myself this question that are these so called ‘meme’s really that funny’ or we just try and make ourselves laugh or laugh it out to try and fit into the ‘group’? Well I am sure that by the end of this article, we would have a clear understanding of why these so called memes are made, how they are shared onto social media and why more and more are being made.

What Are Internet Memes and Why Did They Become So Popular?

Historically, the “meme” word was first introduced by evolutionary biologist, Richard Dawkins, in 1976. “Meme” comes from the Greek word “mimema” which means “something imitated”. But now in the 21st century, a meme is a separate “package of culture” that would travel via word of mouth, usually as a mesmerizing story, a fable or parable, a joke, or an expression of speech. Today, according to Prof. Mike Watson, memes are “an image, video, piece of text, etc., typically humorous in nature, that is copied and spread rapidly by Internet users, often with slight variations. But is that true? Well yes and no, there is no right answer.

It’s in fact quite hard to not notice these memes on your social media or internet, as we are flooded with them on the internet these days, because internet memes are viral. Some people would have seen them but don’t even know what they are called! They are simply pictures that transport a message both humorous, quirky or sad. Most memes are often a funny photo which are funny when a person puts a catchphrase, pull quote or caption on it. Another could be a parody of a photo while the image could have a more serious message.

Memes can be shared both on social media and word of mouth. Memes travel much faster than simple speech. As internet email forwards, instant messages, and web page links, memes are now easily accessible via the Internet. A meme is basically a message that is spread from person to person, in most cases it is a message highly targeted and spread by user within a subculture. Videos, Pictures and Vines can be a meme, but most especially branded pictures.

Memes that are shared on social media can be widely spread from Facebook, WhatsApp. Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Viber and many more.  The majority of internet memes are passed on by teenagers and adults. There are several ways in which a meme can be shared, one is by uploading it on your social media page e.g. Facebook or Instagram, then it is shared or retweeted to your followers. You can say, internet memes are just the adjusted form of sharing a short message or idea. To find out how crazy people are with these new trend called memes , check out these two websites that people created just for memes : http://www.quickmeme.com/    http://www.memecreator.org/

From my understanding of memes in the past 2 years, I have been fascinated by the different categories of memes there are. There are memes categorized by most racist, funniest, natural disaster, sexiest and dirtiest, animal memes and celebrity memes. And we have the typical ‘internet memes’ that feature internet trends and vine videos.

Particularly this year, 2015, there has been outstanding and forgetful memes that have creates heat and drama on social media, most especially Facebook and Twitter. Here satirical memes.

  1. Do you ever start replying to a message, then pause and think “I don’t even have to explain myself and delete everything’?
  2. Do you ever get told to act your age, well, – I don’t know how to act my age; I’ve never been this old.
  3. If 55 is Fifty-Five and 44 is Forty-four, shouldn’t 11 be Onety one?
  4. When your friend says ‘make yourself feel at home’ and you just remove your weave. (African people)
  5. Guys be having all this money on their pics but be broke as hell in person, what app is that please? Maybe I can download it as well.

These are a few examples of modern memes, spreading through online media. Apart from the satirical ones, the other types of memes are the Celebrity memes. Here’s a few :

Chris Brown
Matt Le Banc
Matt Le Banc

 

There are also memes of natural disaster like these:

9/11
9/11
Xhibit
Xhibit

 

 

 

 

 

Racist memes are also among the most popular shared memes on social media.

Chicken Soldier

 

 

 

 

 

The most popular and controversial meme is the ‘face -caption memes’. Most of these memes are rude, cheeky and racist, but this doesn’t stop people from posting them on their pages or sharing on their social medias. They feature people’s thoughts and experience.

Internet memes are wonder’s that probably won’t disappear anytime soon. Memes are like a bridge that makes a connection between people who share the same interests. It’s easy to make a meme, and it’s easy to share them. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, plus sites like Reddit, and Pinterest are known for featuring internet memes as a form of entertainment on their sites. Most people love it when there are trends and challenges for them to get involve in or take part in.

Nowadays, people love to laugh about something together, which is why these memes are popular. They are active and connective. This is why memes spread across the internet like crazy and why memes are a popular phenomenon. The use of memes also created a platform of communication and interaction among users by allowing them to share their thoughts on everyday life, celebrity news, trends and events going on around them.

The spread of internet memes will continue to be humorous and scandalous in some cases, and forever grab people’s attention quicker than any other social media feature.

These memes are unstoppable and unforgettable. We just have to accept it, whether we like it or not.

 

 

 

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Kafayah Runsewe