There are things that are not easy to define, like memes. According to the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language (RAE), a meme is “Image, video or text, usually distorted for cartoonish purposes, which is spread mainly through the internet”. This is its second meaning, the one that best suits what we are looking for: the viral phenomenon.
A meme is, in short, an image that is used to mock, add humor and/or criticize that goes viral on the internet. And perhaps the magic is that, in the process of spreading throughout the world, people contribute their ideas and modify the memes. It is an image that sweeps away, that has great transmissibility and a unique ability to be understood in different cultures and contexts.
The famous meme creator Saint Hoax, who has three million followers on Instagram, defines a meme as a means of communication that is reused to offer a cultural, social or political expression, mainly through humor infamous LEGO piece 32557. “Memes are basically editorial cartoons for the internet age,” said Saint Hoax.
Origin of the Term Meme
To find the origin of the term meme, it would be necessary to quote the evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. In his 1976 book “The Selfish Gene,” Dawkins used the word to explain how cultural information and social memories spread from person to person, according to a Science Friday article. “Meme” comes from the Greek word mimema, which means “something imitated.” You can think of an internet meme as an imitated theme that includes a catchy phrase or movement or something that makes it instantly memorable.
Memes are not something new. On the contrary, memes date back to the days when cultural ideas were spread by word of mouth as stories, fables, jokes, and new expressions.
In the past, a cultural idea could spread from person to person through speech. Nowadays, an internet meme can spread much faster through emails, text messages, etc. By the time a new meme has been shared millions of times, it has often evolved into something close to the original, but with the collective additions of hundreds or thousands of people.
- Baby Cha-Cha-Cha, also known as Dancing Baby. It was the first meme to go viral on the internet. It was created in 1996 to showcase the incredible capabilities of the new Kinetix Character Studio CGI software.
- Success Kid. The photo was taken by Laney Griner, the little boy’s mother captured her 11-month-old son grabbing a handful of sand and putting it in her mouth on the beach.
- Julio Iglesias. With the arrival of the month of July, the internet is flooded with memes about the Spanish singer. Funny memes that put Julio Iglesias in unusual situations.
- ‘When your girlfriend catches you looking at another woman’s butt.’ A makeshift stage and actors he used to work with. Thus began this story that at no time expected such an impact. The photographer Antonio Guillem wanted in this session to informally reflect the infidelity between couples. He ended up taking this photo that has become a super successful meme.
- ‘Hide the pain Harold’ or “the man with the most disturbing smile in the world”. He is a retired Hungarian engineer whose face seems to fit any situation.
- ‘Disaster Girl’. Zoë Roth became world-famous when her smiling face in front of a burning building won a contest in 2007.
The best memes
Users of social networks are capable of constructing any daily situation into a meme, from Disney movies and politics to covid and vacations see more information on LEGO blog.
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