Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Understanding Internet Memes

meme (n) - an idea or element of social behavior passed on through generations in a culture, especially by repetition.
Internet memes are the signature of my generation's sense of humor. This blog entry is not an editorial or opinion piece, but an informational piece to give examples of memes to my readers. Hopefully this will enhance your tech savvy and keep you "in the know" about online jokes!

Chuck Norris is a meme. The jokes I displayed a few days ago making light of his infinite manliness circulate the internet and became a well known joke because of this technology, especially among teenaged boys.

ROFL CATS is a meme. This is a difficult meme to explain, but it's basically just a bunch of pictures of cute kittens with poorly spelled captions to capture their imagined emotions. Here are some examples:

Even the lingo used to express these cats' imagined thoughts is a meme. The ROFL in ROFL Cats stands for "rolling on the floor laughing". Just like "lol" or "jk" or "bff", this language has a distinct cultural meaning which has become widespread through the internet, making it an internet meme.

Have you heard of being Rick Rolled? Apparently it's a form of online prank in which people trick one another into listening to the song "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley. It sounds stupid, but it's actually very funny. The song is just so 80's, it's fun to sing and dance and really get into. If you just blast it unexpectedly at random occasions, it's hilarious. I only learned this because my friend John Dettinger Rick Rolled every teacher in the school via e-mail on the last day, which I found to be pretty clever. Rick rolling is a meme.

Fail Blog is a meme. Fail Blog is a blogging website and Youtube channel which just has loads of people making falls, cars getting in absurd crashes, and funny videos or pictures of people screwing up. The sites also have corresponding language which is often used offline as well as in the media itself: "fail", "epic fail", etc, are often used when somebody messes up in a comedic manner. Some very funny examples can be found here:


There are dozens, perhaps hundreds of other internet memes, but you get the idea. So if your children or grandchildren reference any of these things, surprise them by using them right back! Because you're "hip", you're "radical", you're "far out", right?

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