What’s A Meme?
There are all kinds of techie and academic definitions of the term “meme”, but most of them don’t get it quite right. Or they get it right, but in such dry, scholarly language that you’d never know they’re talking about Grumpy Cat or Fist Pump Baby (also known as “Success Kid”).
Regardless of what the official definitions may be, when most people are talking about internet memes, they’re talking about pictures that various people add funny captions to and then share with everyone they know. Most often, on Facebook.
It becomes a kind of game, with people constantly trying to one-up one another with the cleverness and hilarity factors.
For example, Grumpy Cat is a real cat that just happened to be born with an underbite that makes him look like he’s always grumpy. All the Grumpy Cat jokes are about Grumpy Cat being a hater and a downer. No matter what Grumpy Cat is presented with, he will always find the negative.
Fist Pump Baby is a photo of a baby with an expression and posture that makes it look like he’s doing a victory fist pump (see example at the end of this post). All the captions are various people’s ideas of small victories in life.
Another popular meme is One Does Not Simply…, which is based on the line from Lord of the Rings – The Fellowship of the Ring (see example at the end of this post):
“One does not simply walk into Mordor…”
Another is First World Problems: a picture of a crying woman, overlaid with a caption about her incredibly insignificant reason for unhappiness (see example at the end of this post).
Still another is Philosoraptor, which is an ink drawing of a velociraptor dinosaur with one arm positioned so that his claw is near his chin, and he appears to be pondering something. The captions are all thoughts that would be funny to hear from a dinosaur, or that make the dinosaur seem like a deep thinker (see example at the end of this post).
Here are some sites that can further your education in memes:
And here are those examples:
April L. Hamilton is the Digital Media Mom. She's also the founder and Editor in Chief of LoveMyEcho.com. She writes books, articles and code, shops at the Jedi Knight level, and is making the transition to an all digital-media household. She's always on the lookout for tech that saves money and solves problems for regular people, and has a thing or two to say about all kinds of entertainment media. That's what this site is all about.