What does the word "meme" mean to you?

Anorion

Sith Lord
Staff member
Admin
Don't look it up, or read other's answers. Just explain what you understand by the word "meme", in your own words. The idea is to explore the different interpretations.
 

Desmond

Destroy Erase Improve
Staff member
Admin
Don't look it up, or read other's answers. Just explain what you understand by the word "meme", in your own words. The idea is to explore the different interpretations.
I actually know what meme means even outside of the context that most people associate with it.

The word meme is derived from the word "gene" and it was coined by none other that Richard Dawkins himself in the 70s (I think).

Before I explain what the word "meme" means to me, let me explain why it is so important. There are a lots of traits that animals don't learn by instinct, things such as what type of food to eat, etc. These traits are learned by the young ones of a animal by observing the behaviour of their parents and peers. Humans are no exception to this since a lot of things that children learn is learned from their parents. However, humans also have advanced verbal and written communication skills, this makes humans a very efficient vector of spreading information. When one human being comes across some interesting piece of information or creates said piece of information, another human who might also find it interesting may imbibe the same and spread it to others. This creates a chain reaction, not unlike an epidemic outbreak. In this particular case, the information itself, despite being imply an inert and abstract concept given a (somewhat) material form behaves like a virus trying to replicate and spread itself. This piece of information is what we would call a "meme".

As you may have already gathered, the concept of a meme itself isn't something new since earliest forms of memes could be roman graffiti in toilets, evidence of which were found when excavating Pompeii. Or certain catch phrase that becomes popular from movies or other such media. However, since the advent of the internet and social media, humans have now found a new avenue to spread memes to a whole new (worldwide) audience plus memes now spread faster than ever before. This explains the term "going viral", because the meme has spread to so many people that everyone knows about it.

So, yeah, this is what I know about memes.
 

Randy_Marsh

Youngling
I actually know what meme means even outside of the context that most people associate with it.

The word meme is derived from the word "gene" and it was coined by none other that Richard Dawkins himself in the 70s (I think).

Before I explain what the word "meme" means to me, let me explain why it is so important. There are a lots of traits that animals don't learn by instinct, things such as what type of food to eat, etc. These traits are learned by the young ones of a animal by observing the behaviour of their parents and peers. Humans are no exception to this since a lot of things that children learn is learned from their parents. However, humans also have advanced verbal and written communication skills, this makes humans a very efficient vector of spreading information. When one human being comes across some interesting piece of information or creates said piece of information, another human who might also find it interesting may imbibe the same and spread it to others. This creates a chain reaction, not unlike an epidemic outbreak. In this particular case, the information itself, despite being imply an inert and abstract concept given a (somewhat) material form behaves like a virus trying to replicate and spread itself. This piece of information is what we would call a "meme".

As you may have already gathered, the concept of a meme itself isn't something new since earliest forms of memes could be roman graffiti in toilets, evidence of which were found when excavating Pompeii. Or certain catch phrase that becomes popular from movies or other such media. However, since the advent of the internet and social media, humans have now found a new avenue to spread memes to a whole new (worldwide) audience plus memes now spread faster than ever before. This explains the term "going viral", because the meme has spread to so many people that everyone knows about it.

So, yeah, this is what I know about memes.

You must be fun at parties.
 

Desmond

Destroy Erase Improve
Staff member
Admin
wojak.jpg
 

rhitwick

Democracy is a myth
When I think about the question, I think I find it more similar with comic strips but without any restriction of any rules or laws.

When your words couldn't express it all and when images alone too failed to express it all, meme was born.
Combination of these two.
 
OP
Anorion

Anorion

Sith Lord
Staff member
Admin
Okay, guess will have to put out a survey to get my answers

Should memes be on a trending topic?
Are webcomics memes?
Is virality an important factor for memes?
Are all image macros (pictures with text on them) memes?
Are templates memes?
IF templates are memes, is the underlying template the meme (Insanity Wolf) or a specific image macro based on the template a meme?
Are youtube videos, challenges and hit songs memes?
 

Desmond

Destroy Erase Improve
Staff member
Admin
Should memes be on a trending topic?
More often than not, memes are mostly built upon trending topics. But this is not always the norm, sometimes older media could gain mainstream attention and become meme-worthy like Joseph Ducreaux's self portrait became a meme about rap lyrics transliterated as Shakespearean prose.

Are webcomics memes?
Webcomics are not memes by default. But a particular webcomic could capture the imagination of everyone in such a way that it becomes a so called "exploitable" that everyone can repurpose to apply to different subject matters, then it becomes a meme.

Is virality an important factor for memes?
Very. Or at least it must be popular enough among a certain demographic. Inside jokes of certain communities could also be called memes, but those will be confined to those communities and might not make sense to an outsider. For example, hardly anyone uses the term "chicken tendies" outside of 4chan.

Are all image macros (pictures with text on them) memes?
The idea represented by the image macro is the meme. The image is just a medium. For example, people read confession bear memes for the personal stories people write on it, the image of the bear itself merely represents the nature of the message or the expression of the person writing the text.

Are templates memes?
On their own, no. But with a combination of popularity and meaning, yes.

IF templates are memes, is the underlying template the meme (Insanity Wolf) or a specific image macro based on the template a meme?
The meme is the idea represented by the template. The image and text by itself is simply a medium and gives context to the message passed by it.

Are youtube videos, challenges and hit songs memes?
Yes. Also look up "youtube poop".
 

Vyom

The Power of x480
Staff member
Admin
Without reading other answers, meme for me is the cultural reference and snapshot of the time when a particular trending thing occurred, regionally.
A meme for me is also the use of a particular image to death with different usages, but overall showing similar emotions.

So for eg, the usage of the facial expression of Ganesh Gaitonde from Sacred Games is a meme since it showed a trending image which happened in mid 2018 in Indian sub context.

Yes, not so creative answer, but that's what I think.
 

jhatwo

Broken In
I don't know where to share it. I found it funny one of my friends shared it with me. Somebody really asked this question and the newspaper published it with answers.mod edit: NSFW
WP-20181204-001.jpg
theme of the soldier by rupert brooke
 
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Desmond

Destroy Erase Improve
Staff member
Admin
This is definitely not the right place to share this.
 
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