The Importance Of Memes In Culture

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The exponential growth of social media has spurred the creation of a unique form of communication in today’s culture. What do I meme? The use of the Internet meme has served as a phenomenon that has changed the way people communicate and have had a notable influence on forms of cultural expression. Memes are defined as, “an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from one person to another in a culture and often altered in a creative or humorous way (i.e. images, phrases, snapshots, gifs, etc.).” The rise of the meme culture in a fragmented landscape has no doubt exercised the idea of “cultural formations.” According to lecture, a cultural formation is a ‘complex action, object, event and the cultural texts that come to surround it.’ …show more content…
Today, it is clear that images still remain the preferred method of expression for the masses. Technology has evolved so much that people now have the tools needed to generate and share images that reflect their own beliefs and opinions. Naturally, the growth of use- generated content has created a diverse assortment of different types of images i.e. memes. Although prompted to exaggerate certain events and generally without real meaning, memes do hold value in our society. They are often created and replicated to form multiple meanings in order to code or decode conversation- an evolution of language. Memes have become cultural products because they often depict a certain event in history, a behavior, or feeling that inevitably reaches the masses. Perhaps it is not the humor or relevance of the meme itself that prompts share-ability, but rather, the idea of ‘collectivity.’ According to Michael Shulan, “wisdom lies not in the vision and will of any one individual, or small group of individuals, but in the collective vision of us all.” The rise of shareable content is a testament to how powerful and influential collectivism truly is. Furthermore, this idea of collectivity stems from the fact that memes are often repetitive or imitated amongst Internet users, reiterating similar beliefs. According to the book, continuous repetition generally forms new fundamental meanings. In …show more content…
Memes expand far beyond their face value and often form a simple, shared meaning that has managed to connect much of the world’s population together. The way people communicate with each other regarding technology has changed tremendously. Social media platforms have now become a verb. For example, Internet users often use phrases such as, “I will venmo you,” “I tweeted,” “I instagrammed a photo.” The integration of memes and social media has irrevocably altered the face of communication by creating a new Internet lexicon. While the Internet has become it’s own cultural space, much of what we say, do and interact with online will inevitably feed into the real world. People use memes to make arguments, create conversation, illustrate emotions, or even to showcase beliefs. The use of mimetic communication, to me, signifies greater cultural value than what is seen on TV or other simple forms of entertainment. Memes have also played a crucial role in opening up new forms of dialogue. This new dialogue is derived from the idea of a convergent culture. In his book, Convergence Culture, Henry Jenkins defines cultural convergence as, “where old and new media intersect, where grassroots and corporate media collide, where the power of the media producer and the power of the consumer interact in unpredictable ways.” Essentially, there is a continuous flow

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