When I first discovered memes in high school, I was guilty of pronouncing the word like “me-me’s” and “may-mays.”
As horrible as this is, the pronunciation of the word didn’t take away from the immediate connection myself and others felt with these memes.
It’s difficult to give a single definition to memes. There are different genres of memes in addition to the many subgenres. Simply, a meme is an image or video on the Internet that’s intended to be funny. This is usually achieved by placing text over the media or have it contain something humorous in general.
We see them everywhere. Some websites, like Reddit and Tumblr, are breeding grounds for all things memes. Other social media like Facebook and Twitter are flooded with them as well.
Upon discovering memes in high school, I created a community page within a meme website where I invited other students to create memes about their school life. I remember writing an editorial similar to this one for my high school newspaper around time, so some things don’t change.
Another thing that doesn’t change is the connection that memes can create within a community. When my peers and I created tasteful memes about our school and teachers, it gave us all common ground to come together and share a laugh.
Memes are supposed to be relatable. They should be selfies of the soul, giving Internet life to our everyday occurrences. They brought people together at my high school and they do the same thing on a larger scale across the world. Memes can be enjoyed by people across different cultures because they’re often a universal language, much like basic rhythms in music.
What’s trending at the moment has a hand in the creation of memes. When President Donald Trump accidentally tweeted something with the word “covfefe” in it, the Internet used it as an opportunity to create a plethora of memes. Since Trump is in the world spotlight, these were memes that could be enjoyed by a larger number of people across cultures. It’s truly magical when people from around the world can come together in the creation of this kind of content.
There’s also a sense of nostalgia that goes into some genre of memes. Memes related to TV shows people watched as kids, such as Spongebob Squarepants and Arthur, seem to resonate more with them because of their nostalgic weight.
Memes have weaved their way into our everyday culture. Not a day goes by where we don’t see a meme and share it with someone we know. That’s the thing about memes: they’re sharable so that they can bring us closer together.