Today, most of them are engaged in social media and are aware of memes. Memes have become a prominent aspect of social media that everyone, from youngsters to the elderly, is familiar with. According to research, 55% of 13–35-year-olds send memes at least once a week, and 30% send them every day. Meme pages are followed by at least 38% of individuals on social media.
Although we have never wondered about who, where, or how memes evolved, it is important to know.
History of Memes
Initially, memes were just random images with texts designed to entertain people. In no time, they have turned out to be one of the main communication mediums on the internet. Now, memes not only entertain people but also spread information and opinions.
Who invented memes?
The term ‘meme’ was coined by Richard Dawkins, a biologist, and an author, in his book ‘The Selfish Gene’, published in 1976. Our ideas, values, civilizations, and practices, according to Dawkins, are all self-replicating. They spread through imitation, sharing, and repetition, similar to a gene in DNA.
The term ‘meme’ is from the Greek word, ‘Mimeme’, which means ‘that which is imitated.’ Dawkins coined the phrase to see whether there was a quantitative unit for how ideas are transmitted and propagated through the generations.
Evolution of different forms of memes
Memes have existed long before the internet was invented. They have been around since as early as 79 A.D in the Pompeii ruins and in graffiti as late as the 1970s.
It began with a top text/bottom text meme, which featured a photograph on a coloured background or a hilarious photograph with a single sentence or a two-step punchline.
Rage Comics, a series of images depicting a humorous, sarcastic, or amusing real-life scenario, came next. These comics were created with little effort using Microsoft Paint. They were widely understood, with each illustration recognizable regardless of the language.
Tumblr’s rise as a social media platform coincided with the mainstreaming of memes. Many memes on Tumblr are taken directly from the sources, allowing them to reach a larger audience.
In 2007, memes began to take the form of videos. The concept of Rick Rolling, as well as the development of YouTube, paved the way for more video-based memes.
Despite its short existence, Vines has surpassed YouTube as the leading provider of video-based memes. Mispronouncing words was the most common early vine meme.
Memes have evolved from a form of causal comedy to a means of disseminating ideas and information over time. One should know if the meme is a joke, or does it hurt another individual or their group or if it will be of any help to anybody before sharing it with others.
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