You are scrolling through social media and you find a meme that has you thinking of your best friend. You tag your best friend in the meme and he/she replies with a GIF.
In the above interaction, two individuals communicated with each other but hardly used any words.
Memes, those funny images and videos that you see on the internet have changed the way we communicate. Memes are defined as an idea, behaviour, style or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture. There are often two parts in a meme – the text and the graphic which is either a funny video or image. The text establishes the context while the graphic part adds the element of humour to the whole meme.
The reason for their popularity, aside from the humour, is that they can give a whole perspective on any issue and all you have to do is take just one glance at it. They have diversified to include serious issues as well right now and have become tools to convey a multitude of emotions like sadness, fear, anger, hope and happiness. They have become the internet’s version of the cartoons we saw in our newspapers. They have become an essential part of political discourses as well. There are memes about all the major happenings around the world and anything funny or unusual is captured on camera and they are used as the graphic element of the meme as they go viral with people providing newer contexts by changing the texts.
They go viral and are shared millions of times if they manage to capture the attention of the global audience. This prompts more and more people to create different versions of the same meme which can then be shared with a wider group of people. Sometimes, the text on a meme may be translated so speakers of a different language can enjoy it too. This is how memes travel around the world and become a common thread that unites people from the world over.
Memes and their global impact
Memes have a lot of relatable content that almost everyone can relate to. So, no matter where on Earth you are a meme will elicit the same reaction from you if it does not offend any particular group or community.
Websites that publish memes like putput become escape from the mundane life and are a great way to lift moods in these unprecedented times of a pandemic. Funny images and videos are sorted according to categories on these websites and you can scroll through thousands of posts from any specific category that you enjoy. These are mostly free and can keep you hooked for hours together. Animal videos, makeup videos, babies doing cute things, cosplayers and many more categories of posts are found on these websites.
Memes have captured the imagination of the internet generation. They are so popular that everyday millions of new ones are uploaded on the internet and they are shared by people and many tag their friends and family in them. They have become a means of self-expression and are used to convey emotions, thoughts and beliefs. Meme pages on social media websites and specialised websites where memes are uploaded are some of the most visited websites on the internet and it is not always for the entertainment factor that memes are so loved. They are making place in various aspects including politics, sports and even literature. Memes are definitely a reflection of the cultural landscape of the times we live in.