The Internet is for…Meme’s!

 

I come across Meme’s all the time on the internet so I thought I’d take a look at them and see what they’re all about and where they came from.

Frist up,
What is a Meme?
Personally I’d rather post a whole lot of pictures but I’ll try offer some worded explanation. The dictionary states that a meme is an idea or element of social behaviour passed on through generations in a culture, particularly by imitation.

The term ‘meme’ first came about in 1976 by Richard Dawkins who was an evolutionarily biologist. It was derived from the word mimeisthai which means “to imitate.”
Basically a meme today is a set of ideas, pieces of culture, that self-replicate or is transferred from a person or group to another person or group.
Memes have existed long before the Internet and can be seen in fashions, songs, religious beliefs, proverbs, art movements, folklore, language conventions…ect

There is a bit of debate over what was the first internet meme, the general consensus is that it was the simple smiley face in 1982 by Scott Fahlman at CMU.

: – )

This was the beginning of emoticons when Fahlman decided that it was too hard to detect emotions over electronic text, so he proposed the smiley so it was clear if you were joking or serious. This lead to hundreds more which we all use today.

 

According to knowyourmeme.com there are currently 1,283 confirmed meme entries on their database.

These have been voted in by users who are able to submit their own creations or other they have found. Above are the 20 most popular Meme’s.

So how does something become a meme?
There is no set formula for creating a meme. It depends a lot on how easy it is to create, how outrageous, observational, trendy it is.
Popular memes are usually relevant to the Internet or internet culture. Again memes are not exclusive to the Internet so they can be passed along in other ways.

This internet memes timeline website is fabulous, It claims to have mapped all the memes on a timeline, it’s a great little tool to track every meme and see when they occurred.
Anyone remember the Dancing Baby? Well it first came out on Oct 21, 1996 and quickly became one of the first viral videos.

 

Another oldie and one of the very first examples of an internet meme was the Hampster Dance. At the time it was a fairly new feature in a browser. It used 4 animated GIF’s of hamsters in a loop with music. Believe it or not it got to #5 on the ARIA charts… and here it is for you to reminisce or torture someone with. 🙂

What are some of the first memes that you came across or can remember?

…?

 

Sources:

http://ohinternet.com/Meme

 

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August 30, 2012. Uncategorized. 13 comments.