The Weird World of Internet Memes: How They Started and Where They Are Today
The world of internet memes is one that is ever-changing and evolving. From the days of captioned images to short videos and gifs, the meme has become an integral part of modern internet culture. But what are these strange things, how did they start, and where are they now? Let’s take a look at the weird world of internet memes and investigate the answer to these questions.
The term “internet meme” was first coined in 1976 by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins in his book The Selfish Gene. He used the term to describe an idea, behavior, or style that spread rapidly from person to person within a culture. In the 1990s, the term was applied to images on the internet which users took, changed, and shared with others, leading to the modern phenomenon of internet memes.
The earliest internet memes were simple captioned images, usually featuring animals and characters from popular culture. These images were widely circulated and often included clever or witty captions. These captions ranged from puns to jokes to pop culture references. One of the earliest examples of an internet meme is the LOLcat, an image of a cat with a humorous caption. This image became so popular that it spawned its own web site, I Can Has Cheezburger, which displayed user-submitted images of cats with funny captions.
In addition to captioned images, short videos began to become popular on the internet in the late 2000s. Gifs, short videos that loop endlessly, were particularly popular because they were easily shared and often conveyed a joke or message in a short amount of time. These gifs could be of anything from popular movie scenes to short clips of cats playing with balls of yarn. Today, it is common to see gifs being used in everyday conversations as a way to express reactions or emotions.
Meme culture has also crossed into mainstream media. TV shows and movies often include references to memes in their marketing materials and even in the content of the show itself. Companies have even started using memes as a way to market their products or services. From politicians to brands, memes can be seen everywhere.
Overall, internet memes have come a long way since their humble beginnings in the 1990s. They have become an integral part of our culture, used by people to express emotions, jokes, and opinions. They have also become a powerful tool for companies to use to market their products or services. Wherever you go, it is almost impossible to escape the influence of the internet meme. From captioned images to gifs, the meme is here to stay.