Today I have a guest blog about story-telling in internet “short-hand,” or memes. I’d like to thank Samuel Black for this fun introduction to this art form. Enjoy!
The world moves faster and faster every day. With it, technology and trends set paths for society to follow, and as technology speeds up, so do trends. On the interwebs, trends can come and go in days, or last indefinitely, and every day new ones are created. These trends, in the form of viral videos, catch phrases, and funny images, are known as memes.
Memes come in many shapes and sizes, ranging from intelligently hilarious to morbidly stupid. (And all possible combinations of those four words.) More recent and widespread memes like “The Harlem Shake” or “I Can Has Cheeseburger” might be first time introductions to some people who only dabble in the interwebs. However, memes have been around long before this. In fact, “LOL!” itself is a meme. From the depths of the interwebs or ‘internet’ as the minority call it, older memes drift to the surface, where if they can integrate with the culture of the outside world, become pop culture. Until that point, these memes are generally accepted and enjoyed by ‘internet’ dwellers.
One rather annoying meme, is known as The Game. The rules of The Game are simple
1: You are always playing The Game. (Yes, you.)
2: Whenever you think of The Game, you lose The Game.
3: Losses must be publicly announced.
This meme is well known and hard to get rid of. In fact, it’s a fine example of how memes don’t have to be anything but, to be a meme.
Technology today gives everyone with a computer access to do virtually anything they desire, gaining access to the tools to build and create for free, and the encouragement to do so. Because of this, most people, when they discover memes, have the great idea of creating their own. We live in the day and age where we can, so why shouldn’t we?
A meme is not something one person can just create. You can create content, but like any trend, it has to catch on, and for it to really catch on, you can’t just come up with something your friends enjoy. In fact, if something is considered generally funny to the average person, it would not make a very good meme. Most memes (many that the average person haven’t even heard of) come from deeper parts of the interwebs, namely image boards like 4Chan (WARNING: Just don’t go here. It’s not worth your immortal soul.) The sense of humor found in places like this is dark and usually very childish. Most catchy memes come from these spawning pools, though lurkers of these image boards tend to hate mainstream memes.
With this all in mind, it’s best for one to simply enjoy memes from afar, or stick with the mainstream ones. For anyone truly curious about all the different memes, there is a relatively safe website you can go. Know Your Meme is a website dedicated to cataloguing all memes, young, old, well known and ambiguous. http://knowyourmeme.com/ Some memes (as you might imagine) are for mature audiences.
For a quick summary of memes that you can share with your friends, go here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHg5SJYRHA0
Samuel Black is a writer, composer, and artist. He is currently a college student pursuing a degree in Graphic Design. You can follow him on twitter: @Samuel202
That’s a wrap for this Toast to Cinema. Thanks for reading!