If you have been active on the internet for a while now, you have definitely seen or at least heard about memes. Memes refer to a certain kind of behavior, idea or style that spreads from person to person within a particular culture. The aim of a meme is to convey some meaning or represent some theme or phenomenon that is depicted by the meme itself.
The origin of memes
Memes are so widespread nowadays, but not many people know how memes came into being in the first place. The term “meme” was first used in a Richard Dawkins’ book called The Selfish Gene (1976). Dawkins states that a meme represents a self-replicating unit that explains some human behavior and/or cultural evolution. The term was soon accepted by a wider audience and has been in use ever since.
Today, there are over a million different memes with various backgrounds and origins. Some of them have become part of our culture as a form of slang, such as “bae” or “facepalm”, while others have had a more significant impact on our lives.
Memes make communication better
Saying that memes are there just for fun and that they do not have any impact on today’s culture is like saying that global warming has no effect on our planet. Fortunately, memes do not have such an adverse impact like global warming. In fact, memes can make communication more effective. They can be regarded similar to emojis as they are used to convey a message in a faster, funnier, and more precise way. Instead of texting, you can use a meme to express your thoughts and feelings about a certain situation in a more effective way.
Memes connect us
Memes can help us connect with other people more easily. When you share a meme, more people can respond to it than when you just write your opinion about something. We all know that feeling when we remember a meme that would suit the situation perfectly. Furthermore, when there is nothing interesting to talk about, we can find a meme to start a conversation. Many people enjoy visiting websites dedicated exclusively to memes, such as 9GAG and Subreddits on Reddit. Such websites contain fantastic memes that we cannot wait to share with our friends and talk about.
Memes as marketing tools
Many popular companies make use of memes from time to time. Memes make their messages more fun and entertaining and they grab the attention of more people. Some of these companies include Denny’s, Smile Train, Nickelodeon, Seamless, and even Gucci. The start-up company Hipchat has used a meme to create a billboard saying “Y U NO USE HIPCHAT?”.
The power of memes
It is easy to understand how powerful memes can be if we think about the government’s attempt to indirectly stop memes from spreading by introducing a new copyright law. However, Article 13 has not stopped the spreading of memes whatsoever, and we can expect them to keep on growing more and more.