What do you meme?

If you were to take a look at my Instagram feed or my Facebook page, you would see that the majority of my content is made up of memes. I love memes. I might go so far as to say that, in my opinion, memes are one of THE BEST things to have resulted from social media. Bored? Look at memes. Sad? Look at memes. Happy because you’re looking at memes? Share them with friends so that they can be happy too. Overwhelmed by the dire realities of an ongoing pandemic outbreak? Look at memes!

What is a meme?

A meme [meem], as defined on dictionary.com, is a cultural item in the form of an image, video, phrase, etc., that is spread via the Internet and often altered in a creative or humorous way (Dictionary.com).  Memes can be shared across all social media platforms, and are, constantly. Nothing is off limits when it comes to these entertaining images. They take on anxiety, dating, politics, work, current events, Tiger King – it doesn’t take long to find a meme on the topic of your choosing. Memes can bring a light of sorts to dark moments, and laughter into a situation where there had been none.

Sleeping clay penguin, source unknown.

How it all started.

The first meme is thought to have appeared around approximately one hundred years ago, in a satirical magazine. (Gerken, 2018). Though they didn’t reach their height of popularity back then, the advent of social media platforms has created a medium for them to flourish. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc., all allow for easy sharing, and make it possible for almost immediate reaction to current events.

Image by yarmalenko via MemeCenter

Make your own memes!

Interested in making your own meme but aren’t sure how? This wikihow page can teach you. Yours might be the next meme on my feed!

Sharing is caring.

Though not everyone may feel as strongly as I do, I’m confident there have been a few memes that you’ve found worthy of sharing. Let me know if you’re a fan of any in particular, or if there are any I should search out. I’d love to know, what do you meme?

Image by @charlieamber94 via cheeseburger.com

Facebook: What do you meme? A look into the cultural phenomenon that are memes.

Twitter: What do you meme? #memes #whatdoyoumeme


Dictionary.com. 2020. Meme. Retrieved from https://www.dictionary.com/browse/meme#

Gerken, Tom. 2018. Is this 1921 cartoon the first even meme? BBC Trending. Retrived from https://www.bbc.com/new/blogs-trending-43783521

12 thoughts on “What do you meme?

  1. Okay, first of all, your title is amazing lol! I saw it before I posted my blog and was already thinking “Reading that one for sure”. I’m definitely a meme lover! I share them with friends all the time, and even my parents now, however I have to keep explaining to them what a meme is. I definitely have some favourites stored on my phone! I have a few I love so much I have had them stored on my phone literally for years.
    The funny this is, meme preferences are as unique as each person looking at them. I’ve seen friends and exes laugh hysterically at memes that I don’t find remotely funny. Then there are others I think are the best thing ever made and no one else gets them. But I do think in general they can be a great bonding ritual for friends and even in relationships, also great for filling awkward moments – memes to the rescue!
    I think we’re also draw to memes about things that maybe people don’t always understand about us. Sometimes its job related memes, or for me personally, I always love introvert/social anxiety memes because they poke fun at something while still understanding and paying tribute to the issue at the same time.
    On the technical side of things, I like your subtitles and how you break up your blog posts, always easy to read!

    • Hi Cara! Thank you for such a lovely comment! I love your point about some memes really hitting home with some people more than others. There have absolutely been memes that had me laughing out loud, and and only got a “ha” from a friend. I wish I would have mentioned that more in my post. Also, I have a TON of memes on my phone from over the years… I wanted to share so many more, but sourcing them would be difficult as they are all just screenshots now. Again, thank you for such a thoughtful comment, I really appreciate it.

  2. Hi Rachel,

    I admire how you are able to convey information in a short, concise and clear way. This was a great read. I also love memes so much! I find it amazing how they can convey so many specific and complex feelings, emotions and moods through comedy and simple pictures. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and memes are no exception. What is great is that there are so many that you can find one for any mood, situation, or experience. I personally love memes about being an introvert, social anxiety, and the ones about fandoms and films. One of my friends and I often text each other Harry Potter memes because we are such huge fans. I keep some on my phone and a folder on my computer for a rainy day, or when I just need cheering up.

    • Yes! Another social anxiety/introvert meme lover lol! Totally agree about the memes being able to convey so much in such a small picture and having memes for all occasions!

    • Kyra (and Cara), I love that you said this. I find the memes about anxiety make it easier for me to deal with mine. I think it is because I take comfort in knowing I’m not alone, and I know I’m not alone because someone made a meme about it, haha. I wish we were able to post memes in the comments, I would love to have seen some of the ones you guys go to when you need cheer.

      • You are right, memes do somehow bring people together by showing shared experiences. I was just looking at future trends in social media, and it looks like memes will become even more popular, and people will slowly share less personal anecdotes/information and more memes.

        I was also thinking the same thing, being able to share pictures in the comments would be amazing. That being said, I loved the “Hey, you going to sleep?” and the “when you find out your normal lifestyles called quarantine” they both made me laugh and smile… because I relate to them, and it makes me feel less alone to know others relate to that as well.

  3. Hi Rachel,

    Thank you for such a wonderful blog! I truly enjoyed this one. I think at this time especially with Covid and all, Memes are lifesavers. No matter what time of day it is or what ever we are busy doing (or trying to do now a days lol) we always send or receive a meme from someone. Memes are a great mood changer for me especially when I am in serious mode. If I come across any “appropriate” ones I will share them for sure:)


    • Thank you for such a nice comment Michelle! I totally agree with you, it is especially nice these days to receive a random meme from a friend, to take your mind off the more serious nature of our day-to-day happenings.

  4. Interesting blog – I am terrible at making my own memes but love sharing ones that I find funny or can totally relate to. Right now I am shamelessly enjoying the Tiger King memes 🙂

    • I have a group chat that is currently 99% dedication to Tiger King memes! It was originally for a trip, but that quickly got derailed, and I think the new focus might be even better than the original. I had actually wanted to post a TK related meme, but I couldn’t find one without a swear word.

      • LOL I have a group chat with some girl colleagues of mine – we have been posting a few Tiger Memes as well. One friend actually said “ I hope joe exotic remains relevant forever “.

  5. Hi Rachel,
    Thank you for the comprehensive definition and explanation of memes. I ask my teenage and young adult sons for explanations of the latest terms. I usually get an eye roll and some sort of abbreviated explanation. Your blog explained everything with no judgement. I appreciate that. I do like memes but do not really know how t ujse them. I may try now.

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