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The History of Memes

Always down for a good laugh

Dante Bowman, Photographer

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Memes have gone from a word that you weren’t sure on how to pronounce to a thing that drives you to get on instagram daily. No one wants to miss out on the newest, dankest meme.

Memes span back all the way to 1976 where they first appeared in Richard Dawkins’ book titled The Selfish Gene. He defined memes as “an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.” By definition, a handshake is a meme because it has been past down through culture.

In the mid 90’s, through the CGI creation of “the dancing baby,” the world had its first dose of internet humor and, from that moment on, there was no turning back. It quickly grew into a world-wide phenomenon. On average, people view about 25 memes on any given day. It’s hard to imagine in 2018 that people would see any fewer than that number while scrolling their various social media accounts.

Memes have came along way from just a CGI baby. They are a way people make fun or light of events in the world wether it be a topic like net neutrality or just the cover art for Connect Four.

Brodie Simpson, a student it the 7th grade, spends his afternoons perousing  YouTube looking for the best memes. “The more crude the better” said Simpson. He frequently watches Pewdiepie’s meme reviews 👏👏 so he can stay up to date with the most popular memes.

Just as Brodie, I find myself watching meme reviews and roaming the pages of YouTube for countless hours watching memes. If history repeats itself, that means we will have many great memes to come in the distant future, and I’ll be sure to see it with all the time I spend scrolling through instagram and looking at all the meme pages I follow.

 

 

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The History of Memes