Wednesday, January 11, 2017

What the Meme?

A meme has become something larger than expected in our generation. Merriam-Webster defines a meme as "an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture." Urban Dictionary defines a meme as "an idea, belief or belief system, or pattern of behavior that spreads throughout a culture either vertically by cultural inheritance (as by parents to children) or horizontally by cultural acquisition (as by peers, information media, and entertainment media)." 
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Even if we can define what a meme means, what is the importance of a meme? Memes are created to bond on different ideas or beliefs about something popular in culture. Typically memes are used to create a lighter side of moments and make viewers laugh or feel better. Memes can teach us things about culture without having to actually experience certain events. With the growth of memes, some might begin to wonder if memes are something that are temporary, or will continue to thrive in our society. 

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Memes, if used correctly can describe almost any kind of circumstance. Apps have been created for the sole intention of creating and sharing memes. iFunny with over 10 million downloads is an app developed for users to create memes to be shared into a collective pool. Less than 50 memes a day are then deemed worthy to be selected and featured into a "featured pool".  With apps such as iFunny people are now competing to be able to show off who can create the greatest or funniest memes each day, and make it into the honors of the "featured pool."

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In conclusion with pop culture evolving each day there are always new ways for memes to be advancing and shared. Memes can be created to describe an emotion, event, or just about any other kind of artifact. There are new ways that people are finding to be able to share and create new memes each day. 
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Discussion Questions:
Will memes ever become as big of a piece of  pop culture as movies or other top components of pop culture?
Will memes become big enough where there can be theories solely based on memes?
Is there anything that a meme can't be created for? 

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  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Fun post. I do not believe there is any situation that a meme cannot be created as a representation. However, very clever and creative meme's are the most memorable and sharable. The value of the meme is that it can (and often does) produce an emotional response. Memes intend to create a laugh, chuckle, and they often intend to stun. I see memes as the social technology equivalent and DIY version of the editorial cartoon. Memes capture succinctly and cleverly a representation of themes trending in pop culture, while editorial cartoons serve the same purpose in representing trending news or nuances of politics. The motive for both mediums is to employ creative representation of trends to create an emotional and thought provoking response. Strategic writers are often working to appeal to the emotions of readers to make messages impactful and memorable. Memes give us permission to laugh at ourselves, and perhaps that is why we love them.

      Is the meme as a text worthy of critical theory? Absolutely. Memes are a modern communication trend and an aspect of humor in the rise of social media. I would be interested in exploring how marketers might explore the use of memes without exploiting the craft. Again, the ability to create an emotional response is a powerful tool.

      Your post raises many concepts worth consideration. Thank you.

  2. Memes are definitely an interesting trend, and it has been fun to see them evolve over the past couple years. There are some friends that I will have conversations with strictly by using memes, so I believe that there can be one for every situation.

    While I don't think that memes will ever been categorized in the same realm of movies, television show and books, I do think they have a big spot in the pop culture landscape. It's possible to consume over 100 memes in a day, where that's just not possible with movies. So it's fair to say that memes are more relevant in peoples lives right now than the bigger forms of media.

    Studying memes could be very fascinating, and I believe it is possible there could be theories based around it if the trend continues to be such a major one. There could be a lot of interesting findings as far as what makes certain memes more popular than others, and what makes people gravitate to them so much that our social media feeds are full of them.

    Thanks for the post!

  3. Memes provide a consider other sub-cultures as well. It's quite interesting how we can look at a meme and learn about someone else's experience without "having actually" experienced that moment. It's almost like reading a first-person story and feeling the exact emotion of the author although we may never react in the same manner.

    This new we communicate and express our views on a subject can be utilized in most exchanges, but it may not have the same impact as movies. However, we should expect to see its evolve overtime and remain a popular tool among all generations. Studying communication theory through a set of memes would fascinating for a rhetorical analysis, if possible, but they do remain purposeful for quick messaging as opposed to providing long-term context.