There is a phenomenon that has been spreading for some time now, generations young and old are using it for fun and companies are using it for advertising. Memes are taking over the internet and they are here to stay. So, what are memes? Memes can take the form of a picture, a hyperlink, a video, a website, an image, or a hash tag. The most popular memes right now are pictures with writing on them that often tell a real-life situation. They can be funny, serious, or they can provoke a thought. Basically, a meme, according to Merriam Webster Dictionary, is “An idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture.”
I first learned about memes from a colleague at work who was creating a meme for a friend. She used a meme generator like http://memegenerator.net/ to create an Xhibit meme that she used as a happy birthday card. She put a picture of Xhibit laughing on a separate piece of paper folded inside a card. The card read, “Yo dawg, I heard you like birthday cards so I put a birthday card inside of your birthday card, so I can wish you a happy birthday while I wish you a happy birthday.” The point of Xhibit memes are they are stupid and redundant useless stuff.
While doing further research on memes I found a couple that I thought were particularly funny. One of them had a little boy looking at an adult woman saying to her, “So you’re telling me that you got free health care and people are mad because of that?” Another one that I liked had an image of T-Rex that said, “Why do we give thanks on 1 day and trample people for sales the next?” These are just a couple that I thought were funny.
As for companies, their slogans can be their memes. For example, Nike’s slogan “Just do it” is a meme because it is an idea that is being spread within our culture. Another example of a company using memes is Geico. They use woodchucks in their advertisements to provoke a funny thought, but what do woodchucks and insurance have in common? Nothing. But their commercials are funny and they get people to remember them.