Meme Culture and How It Became An Integral Part of Social Media

Memes are a key part of the social media experience. How did they become such an important aspect of the internet?

If you don't know what a meme is, then you have miraculously managed to escape the cultural phenomenon which has overtaken the interent for the past decade. So, let's start with a definition, the word meme is defined as "a unit of cultural information spread by imitation". So, where did memes start and how did they manage to become a key part of the social media experience?

To begin, memes rose to prominence in the early 2010s, on multiple platforms, such as Facebook and Reddit. One of the early forms of memes was the "Image Macro", which would be an image with text superimposed on the top and bottom.

Later on, as memes evolved past their primitive state, and spread accross most social media platforms. Moreover, the structure of the meme gradually changed. It began refrencing pop culture in a way what has never been done before, it became more about observation and it started being shared in a more mainstream manner, which truly allowed it to seep into every nook and cranny of the internet.

This way of generating and sharing memes made way for a new structure to arise. It started following fads and trending topics in pop culture, which subsequently made it so, a meme would rise to the top for a short while until another meme would come along and take its place.

It did not take long after that for memes to make their way into the real world, and their purpose did not remain strictly for humor and entertainment. Overtime, they made their way into politics, as well as protests, which tackled serious issues, such as women's rights and climate change. They became a fundemental form of expression, especially for the youth.

To sum up, the jury on memes is still out. Many find the use of memes a waste of time, yet their popularity never seems to waver. There are also those who view the use of them in serious issues as offensive but it could be argued that they are simply the spoon of honey that helps the medicine go down. The whole world seems to be in a state of disarray, and it feels especially stressful for those who have barely began to live their lives, finding a little speck of joy whereever one can, goes a long way in elevating some of the anxieties that many may face on a daily basis.