This week I’m talking everyone’s favorite internet sensation: MEMES!
This article, though not the best site or credibility, brings up an interesting point – memes are actual people too!
For those who aren’t familiar, a meme is an image someone posts online, that people caption, usually creating humor based on stereotypes of the pictured person, that goes viral, and people add their own captions. They usually originate on sites like Reddit and move through social media to Tumblr, then Twitter and Facebook.
Memes have become a bit of an cultural phenomenon, as certain memes become more popular or successful than others, and people try to come up with the funniest ones, and even use them as reactionary images on online forums or in texts (I have had conversations with friends exclusively through memes a time or two). There are sites dedicated simply to generating memes, such as QuickMeme. And they wouldn’t be possible without the internet!
Some of the most popular memes include Bad Luck Brian, Good Guy Greg, Success Kid and College Freshmen, among many many others.
Here they are as memes and real people now! You can read up more on their bios at link above.
All in all, it just hit me that these are actual people, who never intended their picture to be all over the Internet and edited by others. It just shows how pervasive viral images can be, and the capabilities of digital media as a whole.
From a design standpoint, its interesting too how iconic the type of memes has become.
My questions to you are: What’s your favorite meme? Are memes dehumanizing in a way? Offensive? Do they propagate stereotypes? Or are they just funny?
How would you feel if you were the real person behind a meme or other viral image?