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The Cultural Impact of Internet Memes

If you are new to social media, overall internet culture and image sharing, it may be hard for you to understand what internet memes are. It is actually difficult to define what an meme is because an meme can be anything. It can be a word, a photo, a symbol, a video, an idea, a person, a quote, an animal or a fictional character. Precisely, it can be defined as an activity, catchphrase, concept or a piece of media which spreads from one person to another via the internet. You can also define a meme as a virally transmitted social idea or cultural symbol.

How Do Internet Meme Travel From One Person To Another?

A meme behaves like a cold or a flu virus, it spreads from one person to another in a speed of lightening but transmits an idea instead of a life form. Historically, a meme is a ’package of culture’’ that would spread via word of mouth as a humorous story, a joke, a fable, or an expression of speech. Today, the internet speeds up the spread of memes enabling them to travel much faster than a mere speech.

As instant messages, web page links and internet email forwards, memes can move instantly via the internet. By virtue of its immediate communication, the internet provides the best platform for spreading modern memes to one people’s inboxes. A file attachment with a Rick Astley video, a link to a YouTube video, an email signature with a quote from Chuck Norris are some of the culture and modern meme symbols spreading through online media.

What Are The Examples Of The Best Internet Memes?

Most memes are humorous e.g. Numa Numa dance, Rickrolling, More Cowbell, Ask a Ninja and many others. However, some of the best internet memes are also about drama and shock-value e.g. Dogs Go To Heaven, Angry German Kid and so on. A few memes involve intellectual absurdity and social commentary and are about deep content e.g. Russell’s Orbiting Teapot, Flying Spaghetti Monster among others.

Other memes are myths associated with urban life that gives some life lessons; Man without a Face, The Littlest Fireman are few of the examples. In a very few cases, an internet meme can be a conversational expression e.g. ‘You Mad Bro’. In every case, a personal experience or a package of culture spreads among people in a virus-like fashion.

The majority of memes will continue being shock-value curiosities and humor as these can grab the attention of many people more quickly than deeper meme content. But expect memes to become progressively more philosophical and intellectual as people become more sophisticated in their thinking.

stoner dog rolls another blunt
yes. roll another.

Who Are Responsible For Transmitting Modern Memes?

Post-adolescents and adolescents transfer More than half of the current internet memes. The main reason for this phenomena is that these two demographics have a playful curiosity about internet memes and like messaging. However, the average age of meme-spreaders has continually increased as users of more than 30 years of age have discovered the humor and chuckles about sending memes to their close friends.

What Is The Origin Of Internet Memes?

Every single internet meme has its unique origin, they can burst out of nowhere and mysteriously take over your Facebook feed, Twitter feed or any other social network site you might be using. There are websites, however, that you can use to find out the history and origin of a particular meme. Sites like Cheezburger Network specializes in tracking down the entire viral stories behind internet memes- sometimes right down to the photographer of an image, artist or creator of a meme.

What Are The Social Impacts Of Internet Memes?

Memes may look like nonsense, a good way to waste time for those with nothing else to do but surf all day. But in reality, they are a major business. They change the way we live, shape popular culture and continually evolve with the modern society. They hugely influence modern language and culture shaping how the youth and the whole internet user community live. Memes sometimes target specific demographics, such as stoner memes target weed smokers and hippies.

Promotions, advertising, and marketing professionals are embracing memes because they are cheap and trendy not mentioning their unique characteristic of spreading like a virus. These so-called memes have assisted in producing fortune and fame to many people. The meme phenomena subtly represent the tones of modern social etiquette and culture.

What Makes An Meme Go Viral?

Some of the qualities that makes the majority of memes reach millions of viewers or described here below. A recent study indicates that persons reporting strong, effective responses to a meme showed greater intent to spread it. Anger producing memes were more likely to be spread but only when its source was an out-group member. The recent study indicated that the rapidity with which online users spread information enhances contagion. You may probably ask yourself what contagion is, this involves the quick spread of influential information among people.

Emotional contagion, a particular form of contagion, leads to convergence of a person’s emotional state with the state of emotions of those with whom is interacting with or observing. That is, when online users watch internet memes, they tend to experience similar emotions as the people in the memes, and by spreading that meme, they anticipate that the recipient will experience similar feelings. The study reports that when an individual is embedded within a network of like-minded persons, this contagion can lead to behavioral responses by many people.

Another recent study indicated that people tended to spread memes with positive effect, anxiety or anger but tended not to spread those that carried sad information. In addition, most people like watching humorous or comedy videos than other categories leading to a rapid spread of such memes. More online users like sharing such memes to increase closeness and liking.

Here is the bottom line; the best memes will always spread like bushfire, influencing the social lives of online users. They arouse various emotions to the recipients being the reason to why their social and cultural impact cannot be ignored.

To learn more about how memes go viral – check the video below”

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