Memes Go Viral in the US


Connor Harding, Editor-in-Chief

  Step aside standup comedy routines and terrible Adam Sandler movies, there is a new comedic sheriff in town. Memes have rapidly become a staple of society for all walks of life due to their relatable nature and hilarious content. The term meme is loosely defined as a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc., that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users. However, over the course of time, they have become so much more than that. What can only be described as a “culture” has formed around the repetitive little jabs and puns, which has only aided in increasing their already burgeoning popularity. So this all begs the question, why have Memes become such a pillar of society in such a short period of time?

     Well, the whole idea of a meme is to appeal to various aspects of the human existence. For example, by looking at the massive collection of memes which have been created by users on the internet, one will notice references to shows and music such as PBS’s Arthur and Nickelodeon’s Spongebob, artists such as Tupac, and even actual historical events. Offensive or not, these memes will likely appeal to people’s sense of nostalgia. Music is also a powerful medium in which memes are presented, in the case of We are Number One (A song made famous by a kids’ puppet show called Lazy Town) or Fergilicous, whole series of memes were spawned off of a single track. They are easy to access, easy to browse, and easy to mock. Many marketing teams, as well, are using memes (often in  a very misplaced or cringe-worthy fashion) to sell their products to young crowds on major television networks.

    However, Just like the flavors of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, everyone has his or her favorite. Each person has that one special joke or character that he or she is especially attached to which makes a meme truly special to that one person. This reporter, a lover of memes myself, posted a poll to Twitter describing the most popular memes of 2016 and asked the student population which was their personal favorite. The consensus showed  that students preferred political based memes focusing on Joe Biden and Donald Trump by the widest margin, with Harambe and Spongebob based memes placing second and third respectively.  

        But regardless if it is Ken Bone, The Lorax, a kid in some white van, Ted Cruz,  Kermit the Frog, or another famous amphibian riding a unicycle, one can be sure  that memes have and always will be around to offer a good laugh to anybody, regardless of their personality or background.