By Niharkana Dhar
Officially and academically speaking, the electronic page is the answer to our prayers and the fulfillment of the information dearth. Cutting out on unnecessary paperwork in offices and reaching out to us universally in education is its achievement.
Brevity is celebrated through blogs, e- papers and even memes as satirical attacks now no longer require lengthy mock-epics and plays. The unity of time, place and action has been appreciatively replaced by and reduced to the unity of word, picture and the internet in the meme.
We greet each other with a meme, use 9gag to browse memes throughout the day and even muster courage during stressful situations such as exams by sharing memes that imply that we all are in the same boat, brother!
Let us look at what exactly is a meme and how it has become the epitome of our social media experience-
What is a meme?
Wikipedia defines the internet meme as “an activity, concept, catchphrase or piece of media which spreads, often as mimicry or for humorous purposes, from person to person via the internet”. They are as viral and common as this winter’s cold and spread around all year! Fans create them using random clicks of celebrities together with unrelated captions.
Dhoni doing a split in the playground? There, picture clicked and humour added with “So that was Helicopter”. It almost becomes a very reductive form of fanfiction!
1. A great conversation starter
Want to text that cute girl but don’t know what to say? Voila! Send her a light humoured meme. And as the old rule goes “hasee toh phasee!” hopefully she will LOL and the ice will break. Even friends we don’t keep in touch with anymore are reminded that we haven’t forgotten them by an occasional forwarded meme.
2. Social message
Can you recall the viral meme of 2015-2016 captioned “Be like Bill”? Bill, the stick person is the postmodern man who is self-sufficient and as the meme goes, “has his own life”.
Bill is the depiction of moral superiority as well. Soon, its feminine counterpart emerged as “Be like Emily”.
3. Know your meme
This is for anybody interested in actually creating memes as this has become the art form of today! Knowyourmeme.com tracks down any meme and the story behind how it came to be and helps a meme-creator to study popular ones. It is a part of the Cheezeburger Network and sometimes even gives you the creator and photographer of the meme. One can use its search bar and a full page of information will be loaded along with related memes.
Marketing professionals increasingly use memes to spread the marketing “buzz” for their product. It has come to be called “mimetic marketing” and creates an image of trendiness and appeals to the youth. It makes advertising less explicit and not the killjoy of modern day social media experience but instead blends with it.
Like any joke made publicly, memes can get offensive. For instance, the one about Modi as “wanderlust” with dog-ears put up by All India Bakchod aka AIB infuriated his supporters and lovers. But isn’t this what freedom of speech all about? To be able to ridicule humorously any public figure even? Thanks to meme culture we can add some more wit and also criticism every day and more virally so.
Author Bio: Niharkana is doing her post graduation in English from Delhi University.
Image Credits: Google Images