Memes Are Great

Memes, which are a catch-all term that cover everything from pictures with text to YouTube videos and even words themselves, are both hilarious and awesome.

However funny memes are, there’s another important aspect to them which may not have been around in the earliest days of the medium. This is the power to influence society in the ways people think, especially about themselves and the world around them.

For example, some of the memes I find the funniest today are incredibly ironic in nature, and make fun of  older ones. I highly doubt my younger self would laugh at the parodies of the image macros that he found funny, but that’s where my humor is nowadays.

The thing I find funny about memes is that I now look at the Know Your Meme webiste as a meme in and of itself, because while it used to be a legitimate and serious website where people like myself went to learn about memes, it’s now become something of an inside joke. The running gag is that Know Your Meme is where a meme goes after it has died or become unfunny to the meme elitists.

Jonathan Cordero, assistant professor of sociology at California Lutheran University, said that memes are unique to the millennial generation.

“You’ve all grown up in a generation where you had ready access to technology and to one another through technology,” Cordero said.

Cordero said he believes that in 10 or 20 years, it will be hard to estimate what culture will be like, especially with how unique  memes appear to be in the present day.

“The one thing that’s gonna stay, that’s not gonna change that I believe will be a part of the future, is immediate technological access to other people,” Cordero said.

In her article “On Memetics and the Transfer of Cultural Information”, Deidre Olsen said “We use memes not only for absurd humor but also for societal and political commentary.”

Memes are powerful. While they can certainly be cruel at times, this is to provide light and laughter in a world that is undeniably challenging and scary.

Henry Studebaker
Staff Writer