Dank Memes

Diane Alba, A&E Editor

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You go on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, or whatever and within a couple of scrolls (if not immediately), it is more than likely that you will find a meme. I don’t really think that I have to explain what a meme is but just in case; it is a funny picture, video, text, etc. that is copied and altered by people, then spread rapidly by Internet users. They’re funny, relatable, and sometimes they’re just plain weird. They spread like wild fire too. What memes also do is create an impact on society that we may not be aware of.  

Internet memes began in…  I don’t know. 2010? There is no definitive date because, surprisingly, memes are actually kind of complicated. In 1993, this guy named Mike Godwin first proposed the concept of the internet meme, and in 2013 another guy named Richard Dawkins characterized them. But this information still doesn’t really answer how and when they began.

Well to me, the first memes were those that we saw around middle school. Like the ones that had the words at the top and bottom of the picture with the Impact font. Also the memes that used the same cartoons to tell those totally relatable stories. Remember Bad Luck Bryan and the Troll? It’s cringey to think that we ever found these funny but these are the memes that started this whole “meme culture” which has sticked to this generation ever since.

The important thing about these memes is that almost everyone uses them. Even parents and aunts and uncles and such. This is what makes memes kind of a big deal even though it might not seem like it.

“Memes get people’s attention,” Elizabeth Gomez, sophomore, states. “People that use them seem so relatable and almost trustworthy. Yes, they can be used as propaganda.”

Lets use the election as an example. Memes were rampant throughout the whole process and they appeared on Twitter immediately after things happened.

During the primaries, they served as a sort of propaganda that millennials used to promote Bernie Sanders and bash Hillary Clinton. Remember these? 
Sure they’re not cool anymore, but the point is that memes have become the platform that  millennials use to make their voices heard.

Endless memes emerged about Trump after he said or did something dumb. So what effect did that have on the election? These jokes kept him relevant and actually helped him a little because since the jokes about Trump never died off, so did his candidacy. Now I am not saying that this is the core reason as to why he won but it definitely was a factor.

Also, since people were too busy making jokes about the election, they were not considering the issues that were being discussed during debates and actually educating themselves on the platforms. They were too busy focusing on Ken Bone.

They laughed at Trump because of the way he looked or because of what he did or whatever that they almost forgot that he still had the potential to become the next president. In a way, memes made a joke out of the entire election. And now look what happened.

Memes aren’t completely evil either. There are upsides to them other than the fact that they’re funny and make us laugh. They also act as a defense mechanism.

“People make fun of their depression if they have depression,” asserts Alexis Morelos, senior. “They mock something that they fear so that they can have a coping mechanism for it and get over it. It’s instant gratification.”

Again, let’s use the election as an example. The way that minorities were able to cope with a candidate and his followers that spoke and thought of them in such monstrous ways was by laughing at the entire situation. They almost make us forget that they are belittling us.

Memes make the unbearable, bearable. They can be plugged into any situation according to Gomez. And even though we have to face reality at the end of the day, at least we can always guarantee that there will be a joke to cheer us up a little.

“Memes are priceless,” Gomez said. “I live for memes.”