A Brief History of Memes

The internet has so many purposes, and it serves its cause to a point where people are too dependent on it. Regardless, there is no denying that the best thing that came out of the internet is Memes. They are the reason we keep checking our phones at work and keep us entertained while commuting. Sometimes, they keep our minds off things when things are rough. Other times they are the reason we stay awake till 3 am. 

You may be obsessed with memes, or you may ridicule them. Whatever your stance on Memes might be, there is no denying that they are an essential part of 21st-century virtual culture. You can’t avoid acknowledging them. 

What are memes?

Memes are social phenomena. They are usually images or videos full of pointed self-deprecating, ironic, or sarcastic commentary on contemporary events, cultural symbols, stereotypes, and other social norms. 

Memes have often been described as Gen Y and Gen Z’s way of hiding terrifying insecurities and truth about how little control they have over their own lives. 

In the human world, ideas can repeat, mutate and evolve. When a meme resonates with people, they share it and discuss it. Hence, every meme has a profound cultural impact on humans. 

Overall if we look at memes, they fall in the category of dark humor, but we know better to box them under one type of humor when we know nothing fits one box ever. 

How did the term memes emerge?

Dr. Richard Hawkins, the evolutionary biologist, a known Atheist, first coined the term “memes” in 1976. The word meme appeared first in his book, “The Selfish Gene.” He had used the word meme to describe a behavior, style, or idea that spread promptly from person to person in a cultural setting. In his book, he had compared the meme gene to the spread of a virus. 

 The word meme originally was picked from the Greek word ‘mimeme’, which means the imitated thing. 

After the Decades, when the term memes were used in the Digital World, Hawkins accepted the new appropriation and said that the term’s new meaning isn’t too distinguished from its original definition. 

Memes used to be the domain of 20-somethings. However, internet users of all ages and levels of digital savviness have adopted memes to express their feelings. (Source: livewire.com notes)

How did they come into existence?

Earlier, we discussed how the term meme came into existence. Now we will talk about how internet memes came into existence. Internet memes emerged in the mid-1990s. During the mid-2010s, a sub-form of memes came into existence known as the dank memes. We will talk more about them in the sections below. 

Memes, at times, are pretty niche and hence, not understood by a much wider audience. The increase in ironic commentary in memes has led to absurdist memes, which are different from postmodern art. 

Many memes have multiple layers of meanings based on previous memes, and hence, a person cannot understand some of them until they have seen the original memes. 

Types of Memes

We all know how it is human nature to create sub-categories and categorize stuff according to their content and context. Similarly, in memes, we have unlimited variety. Here, we will discuss some of them today. 

General Humour Memes

Our daily life offers immense possibilities and materials for fun memes. Popular memes are often full of niche humor to silly humor. Many times one single image is used to create multiple memes. 

 Like this determined kid with his fist closed has been a part of thousands of different memes. 

Dank Memes

Dank meme refers to viral internet content that has lost its value or currency due to overuse or passing trends. It can also refer to exceptionally unique or odd memes. (Source: Dictionary.com) 

Dank word in itself has been defined as something unpleasantly moist. It has often been used as slang for decades about marijuana. 

Earlier dank memes were the ones that were out-of-touch, but today they are used to describe clever, obscure, novelty, and fun memes. 

Dark-humor memes

Dark-humor memes are a form of humor that regards human suffering as absurd rather than pitiable or considers human existence as ironic and pointless but somehow comic. (source: dictionary.com)

There are hundreds of other memes like social memes, wine memes, cartoon memes, and such. 

Why are memes so addictive?

Memes are no doubt addictive. The irony is that most memes are irrelevant, but they just tickle the right spot of the humor. That is why a dog rolling its eyes will make a person burst into a bit of laughter. Another factor is the timeliness of the memes.

Another reason that memes today have become so addictive is that they are available almost anywhere you look. Earlier memes used to be sent through emails and chat rooms only, but today with the development of social media platforms, the memes have become a way of living. 

Also, memes that were only text or image-based earlier have now evolved into short video formats. Instagram reels, Rizzle, Moj, Josh, and many other apps have become a safe haven for content creators. 

What are Vemes?

Vemes are Video Memes. The short video formats have been creating waves. People have learned to say more in shorter periods. The trend of vemes emerged from the popularity and success of the app Vine. 

Even though the app was successful and widespread, it failed to grow with time and soon was shut down, and then Tik-Tok emerged as the most popular short-video platform.  They introduced the six-second video concept and the craze of it among the youngsters. Vine was the first short-video app and laid the groundwork for the future of short-video memes, that is the vemes.

When Tik-Tok faced a ban in India, many other short-video platforms realized that this was their time to shine. There are many short-video apps today on app stores, but every app has something unique to offer. 

This is where Rizzle stood out and emerged as an all-rounder. Rizzle provides an entertaining feed and a platform and tools to help make video creation easy. Rizzle has an endless variety of vemes. More and more content is created and shared every day, and hence, new material on the feed can be found every single day to tickle people’s funnybones. 

To watch or create vemes, download the Rizzle App now!

Memes are the lifeline of the 21st-century world. The future of memes and vemes cannot be predicted. But one thing is true that they can evolve but cannot be eradicated from the virtual world. 

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