What Exactly is a Meme Today?

Timothy Eletto, Reporter

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You’re probably familiar with the word “meme.” Memes started out as a funny picture with text above and below, providing some sort of context as to why the action in this picture has occurred. For example, a popular meme is a picture of a baby with his fist balled, and an accomplished sort of look on his face, and the text above that picture might say something like “When you accomplish your life goals” or “Ordered a 10 piece McNugget, got 11.” I used to come across some memes that I found funny. However, what people consider to be a “meme” has started to change.

What people used to consider a “meme” was much better than what people consider a “meme” these days. A few years ago, people started to consider a meme to be pretty much any short video, usually on Instagram, that they considered funny. There were a lot of funny videos that I got a laugh out of, but then the meaning changed again. These days, immature teenagers consider a meme to be… Well, there isn’t really a set definition of what a meme is. Pretty much, anything that someone said once, or a picture, or a video, or a person is considered a meme. What this started to cause was a less than favorable behavior, where kids just follow what everybody else likes. I can guarantee that if you ask someone why a meme is funny, or where it originated, most of the people you ask will have no idea. It’s kind of like laughing at someone else’s inside joke, even though you don’t actually know what’s funny about it. In my opinion, memes are making it easier for kids to feel obligated to like something that other people like just to fit in.

Let me be clear – I don’t hate every meme in the world. I just hate when people find the most random things funny, and I hate when they’re unable to tell me what they find funny about it. Before memes became popular, it was considered a bad thing if you laughed at someone else’s inside joke because it was just a sign that you were only trying to fit in. These days, trying to fit in seems to be almost a good thing. Don’t laugh at memes if you don’t know what’s funny about it. Be yourself, because you’ll be a lot happier that way.

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