Memes are all around us, the term meme hasn’t been around long, but the idea of memes started since the dawn of time. The term meme started in 1976 by Richard Dawkins book The Selfish Genes, explaining the process of genes and memes. According to Dawkins, memes are an element of a culture or behavior that may be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means. Basically, what Dawkins means memes are the copying of ideas and spreading of ideas. For example, you didn’t invite wearing sunglasses on a sunny day, you were brought up to wear sunglasses when the sun is out.
With the increase of technology, there are new type of memes called temes (technological memes). According to Susan Blackmore, temes are digital information stored, copied, varied and selected by machines. She also explains that we as humans are also teme machines merging with technology. We are self-replicating, we make babies; with technology in the palm of our hands we can’t escape the temes. With technological memes comes what we know as internet memes.
Memes get created by mostly by happenstance, sometimes intentional. Memes becomes memes through the internet, weather it be filming rainbows, interviews, remixes, and cats; we the people are responsible for spreading a so called meme. Memes usually get started through youtube, reddit, or the dreaded 4chan, but that is to say memes can pop up in other forums as well. Memes usually get created if it is funny or true in nature; it all has to do with us copying that information like Dawkins explains and spreading it throughout the internet. I think that memes become memes because it gives us a humor about how life is like, we get to laugh at mistakes.
Now, this begins the question are memes and gifs actually and truly art? I believe so, it takes so much creatively of a meme to spread new ideas like the socially awkward penguin (only of my favorites) is one idea, but gives different scenarios like a story. That also goes for gifs, it tells a story within a few frames that are played infinity. I guarantee the more you watch a certain gif, a different means will arise every time because it’s a short infinite loop. Try and see if you can create a meme and see how much creativity is need.
That being said, Have you ever created a meme or a favorite meme? How would you react if a video or picture of you became a worldwide internet meme? Do you believe memes and gifs are forms of art? why or why not?