Memes In Today's Popular Culture

Powerful Essays
Topics: Internet
“Meme” is a word most familiar to people who are in tune with today’s popular culture, the passing of a humorous object through the small alterations in imitations. However, the term “meme” was first brought to life in a 1976 book called The Selfish Gene by a biologist named Richard Dawkins. He coined the term as a “cultural unit that spreads from person to person through copy or imitation” and reflects and shapes cultural discourse, mood, and behavioral practice. Interestingly enough, he even compares the meme’s concept of evolutionary process to Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection. Like a population, memes can spread rapidly via the Internet (mostly through social media) referred through mostly catchphrases, images, and videos. Author …show more content…
There’s a spectrum of older to newer classic memes. Older classic memes pertaining to animals include the musical Keyboard Cat and Nyan Cat–which are only examples of why cats are deemed to be the “lions of the animal memedom” (Ben Huh), the dramatic chipmunk, (honey) badgers, etc. Other older memes involving more into music are “Chocolate Rain” by Tay Zonday, “Friday” by Rebecca Black, the Numa Numa song, etc. Then there are the newer classic memes such as Doge the dog and Pepe the Frog (both image memes, also pertaining to animals). Another famous rendition of the bait-and-switch practice is the John Cena meme (based off of the famous professional wrestler). Today meme’s are also focusing more on famous catchphrases such as Damn Daniel, What Are Those (both oddly consisting the attention towards footwear, originating from the social media application Vine), 420 blaze it (a term concerning marijuana), etc. Throughout the timeline, there has been a pattern of memes focusing towards musical dances as well. There was the Harlem Shake, K-popstar Psy’s Gangnam Style dance routine, and the much more modern whipping, nae-naeing, and dabbing. There are most definitely a lot more memes; the list goes on and …show more content…
What is it like to be an original meme? Olivia B. Waxman of TIME wrote an article on Vanity Fair’s interview with the the famous “Ermahgerd Girl”, an image meme of a young girl fanning three Goosebumps books with an excited expression deemed to say “Ermahgerd” (which is a speech-impetimized “oh my god”). “Ermahgerd Girl” Maggie Goldenberger explained what it’s like to be a meme, saying that she experienced a lot of staying power, meaning being asked a lot about the photo, but not as much fallout from being viral. However, another example like the “Shiva”/“Thumbs Up Kid” delve much more in depth in the Vice article “This Is What Happens When You Become a Meme” by Emma Pryde. For the Shiva, the meme originated from a man named Tim who uploaded his eighth grade school photo to Myspace. Through a process of going through forums and repurposing, the meme rapidly spread in January of 2012 through the website gyropedia.com. It was short-lived forced meme that was opposed but still outnumbered the amount of opinions (Gyropedia). Being asked how it felt to be a meme, Tim had a plethora of emotions. His fame heightened his cynicism, reinforced his fear, and other times he just felt liberated. Tim is much more careful about what he is sharing on the internet, which then also makes him much more self-conscious about his image. Altogether, he felt scared, mostly okay but not happy, and embarrassed but eventually came to the realization that it was

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Reflections of Pop Culture on Society Popular culture, commonly referred to as "pop culture", is constantly changing and heavily influencing people worldwide; one can hardly tell the history of the human race without some mention of pop culture. Pop culture molds and defines the beliefs and values, as well as, influences the actions of society. Social media, as well as the natural ache we all carry to fit in, pushes people to embrace and succumb to pop culture. Pop culture greatly influences…

    • 946 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    American culture is taking over the world. That’s how many see today’s popular culture, and they could not be more wrong. America has been the biggest importer of culture since its creation. People have the freewill to choose what they want to wear, eat, and watch; American culture is not being forced upon anyone, it is simply just being adopted by many people because of it’s popularity. Cultural hegemony is a myth, American culture is not dominating other cultures, but simply being intermingled…

    • 664 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    meme

    • 668 Words
    • 7 Pages

    11/22/2010 Intercultural Communication Chapter 11 Episodes, Contexts, and Intercultural Interactions Social Episodes in Intercultural Relationships • Social Episodes are re-occuring features of common, everyday communication events. • The nature of social episodes • There are 5 components of social episodes: Cultural Patterns, Social Roles, Rules of Interaction, Interaction Scenes, and Interaction Contexts Social Episodes in Intercultural Relationships • Cultural patterns…

    • 668 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    What is popular American culture? Popular culture is a way of life. It’s a lifestyle of a group of people. The elements of everyday life consist of popular culture. These are the artifacts, institutions, and sorts of a general knowledge of a society, the common knowledge and practices of a specific group at a specific time. Popular culture reflects and influences people’s way of life because it is related to a precise time and place. It is temporary, and new phases take over from former favorites…

    • 779 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    popular culture

    • 1348 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Popular culture In our civilization today, people seem to obsess over certain values that our society proceeds to the people that they need to consume by using advertisements through television, radio, magazines etc. These promotions of the latest trends such as fashion and technology, installs to the people’s head that we need to obtain these values to “fit in”. Also, the worlds “super stars” are heavily looked up to in our society. They create and image for himself or herself that the people…

    • 1348 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Popular Culture

    • 364 Words
    • 2 Pages

    POPULAR CULTURE By definition, popular culture is associated with the everyday, the mainstream and that which is commonly accessible: in short, culture produced for mass consumption. If there's one thing people like to consume more than almost anything else, it's popular culture. Television, music, movies. Every year it seems, the popular culture goes a little bit further, louder and faster, more action, bigger explosions. Is it good or bad? Popular culture is hard to ignore. It affects nearly…

    • 364 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Popular Culture

    • 730 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Outline and explain two different types of culture Culture is the characteristics of a particular group of people, recognized and defined by everything from language, religion, food, clothes and music. Every culture has its own norms and values they follow, and abide by. In this essay I will be exploring popular culture and, sub-culture. Popular culture is associated with shallow activities enjoyed and accesses by the masses, it serves a large role in society as it unites the masses, and creates…

    • 730 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Better Essays

    Popular Culture

    • 1149 Words
    • 5 Pages

    What is popular (low) culture? "Popular culture is a symbolic expression allegedly aligned with the questionable tastes of the "masses," who enjoy commercial "junk" circulated by the mass media, such as soap operas, rock music, talk radio, comic books, and monster truck pulls" (Campbell, 18). When looking at the high-low hierarchy it often determines the way people view culture as a whole today, saying high culture is good taste and low culture is questionable taste. Many audiences take for granted…

    • 1149 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Popular Culture

    • 1227 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Popular Culture Under the concept of popular culture that is discussed in the texts of Martin & Nakayama, the populist is seen in forms of borrowing or mixing of other cultures. Popular is created and maintained not only through mass consumption, but by the active process of generating and circulating meanings and pleasures within a social group (2011, pg.202). It’s everywhere and it fills my life. Even though I was raised a certain way according to my parents culture and beliefs, but I was…

    • 1227 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    popular culture

    • 364 Words
    • 2 Pages

    The website provides resources for the critical analysis of popular culture in the US, including the impact of that culture beyond national borders. Resources include sites on various forms of popular culture, including music, film, television, advertising, sports, fashion, toys, magazines and comic books, and the medium in which this message moves, cyberculture. The site focuses on issues of race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, cultural imperialism and censorship, as shaped by and reflected…

    • 364 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays