Memes are pictures worth a thousand words, and millions of views.
Some memes last a day, but in the words of Susan Campbell, “memes are forever”.
And that’s just what this blog post is about.
Know Your Meme is a reliable online database of confirmed and developing memes.
A veteran of the viral world is the Success Kid. This meme started off as a photo photographer Laney Griner took of her son, Sammy, at the beach. In 2007, she uploaded the photo to a few social media sites, including Facebook. In 2008, the photo gained circulation on MySpace, and then found itself on Reddit in 2011. As the photo was spreading across the internet, Griner had mixed feelings. She was happy that the photo made others all over the world happy, but she grew tired of advertisers asking for permission to use the photo, so she had to license the photo to protect Sammy and her family. In 2015, Sammy’s fame helped his father raise funds for a kidney transplant.
Nickelback, a Canadian band formed in 1995, is one of the many celebrities targeted by meme makers. They have a negative reputation for how their music sounds, but in the end, it is just attention for the band. In most cases, memes take a celebrities’ worst work and manipulates it to make it funny (or more entertaining).
But what if we applied memes to issues of poverty? What if we made poverty and its challenges a topic of a meme that would viral? Would that make people think more deeply?
But let’s start small: Let’s see how quickly and how far we can spread a brand new meme.
In another class I am in with Ms. Campbell, we talked briefly about how memes can easily spread and become viral. Although this could be an invasion of privacy, she lol’d at how quickly I generated the meme above (and how I found a photo from a few years back). You can go here to add a caption for the Memetastic Journalist. You can also share this photo.
What are you waiting for? Share away, my Internet trolls!
By Leah Myers, who just flunked this class