The practice of ideas, behaviours and/or styles spreading from person to person within a culture originated in the 1970s. Since evolving on the image board 4Chan in 2001, Memes have taken the digital world by storm.
With memes becoming an everyday occurrence in our online social interaction to express emotion and general moods, one has to wonder what inspired this internet culture to come about. It is said that the meme originated from the 1976 book “The Selfish Gene” by Richard Dawkins, in which memes are defined as a way to explain how cultural information spreads. Today memes are the leading winners of the viral game online.
The first idea of a meme originated in 1996 in the form of 3D rendered dancing baby known as, ‘Baby Cha Cha’. Baby Cha Cha was shared via email and was part of a product sample source file and gained global interest via email chain messages. The dancing baby reached ultimate popularity when it was featured in the popular TV series, Ally McBeal.
Memes have opened up the door for trolls and for people to express what they can’t say in words, causing many laughs and leaving others offended. The power this viral media holds has sky rocketed unknown everyday people into the public spotlight. A perfect example of this is the unforgettable and infamous Leave Britney Alone meltdown by Chris Crocker. Within hours this YouTube video went global and spawned a series of memes created by the online community and even attracted celebrities to create parodies. Memes created an online superstardom for Chris Crocker, and spawns many more online stars every day.
Some of the most popular memes we shared and chuckled to included: Overly attached girlfriend, Ermahgerd, Scumbag Steve, Doge, Slender Man, “Y U No” man, Bad Luck Brian and so many more entertaining renditions of popular culture and expressionism.
Meme’s have become a social network cult favourite. With a range of meme-generators, you no longer have to search or use another person meme, you can have a meme for every situation you are in. Where will Meme’s go in the next 5 years? They are the ultimate viral success story and with social platforms such as Pinterest it isn’t hard to find the perfect meme to describe your blue Monday, your post-breakup binge eating or even how much something annoys you.
What does it take to become a worldwide phenomenon meme you ask? Just ask the ridiculously photogenic guy, Angry Hipster Girl or Friendzone Johnny. All a bunch of regular guys who people decided represent a societal idea, abusing it for our entertainment and giving them their 15 minutes of fame. But how do you make your own meme? It simply takes a great idea, the perfect image and a space to share it with like minded people.
So create and share, don’t be scared, go forth and memify.