Today I’m going to look at some of the most popular memes on social media. The word meme was coined by Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book, “The Selfish Gene,” and he originally defined it as follows:
Examples of memes are clothes, fashions, catch-phrases, tunes, ideas, ways of making pots or of building arches. Dawkins used the term to explain how cultural information spreads throughout society. He drew parallels between a meme and its genetic equivalent – genes/DNA being the fundamental unit that transmits biological information.
Culture – communication through memes
We can take Dawkins’ definition further by suggesting that culture is communicated through memes. They comprise several parts – an image representing the concept, plus one or more phrases that describe the concept and usually offer a humorous commentary or express an emotion.
This combination of words and images makes memes so popular and easy to replicate, share, and amplify exponentially through social media. Memes often reflect contemporary concerns – such as politics, celebrity culture, and moral opinions. They can be created as a reaction to something in the news or as part of an ongoing meme trend. Internet users may even identify themselves with specific memes, such as Doge, Keyboard Cat, or Grumpy Cat.
With their short, snappy nature – typically just a sentence fragment – memes are text-heavy which lends them well to being shared via social media channels. They’re based around pop culture, current affairs, and a broad spectrum of human emotions means they have universal appeal. Meme Scout helps you make the best memes.
Although often viewed as a light-hearted distraction, memes can sometimes take on a more serious tone. For example, memes have been used to raise awareness about specific issues or support charities.
In addition to being shared through social media channels, many images associated with popular memes are also created as parody music videos, image macros, and reaction GIFs. The photos themselves can take on their own life as standalone images that represent common concepts or internet trends. Some become popular in their own right – examples include Do Not Want and Y U No.
We have heard about popular memes. But what are they? Well, do you remember the ‘Hey diddle diddle rhyme that your parents used to read to you when you were a child? Yes, but what has that got to do with this topic? Taking small bits and pieces out of books is popular among teens, especially between 2013-2014. It’s called an internet meme, So what can be classified as a meme?
As you’ll see from the following list of most popular memes, there’s often a crossover between the most shared memes and those that become popular on social media channels. This is probably because memes are easy to share, meaning they get passed on quickly through people’s networks of family members, friends, and colleagues on social media sites or within email spam filters.
However, memes can also be shared as standalone images (not necessarily as parody videos or image macros). The following list considers both meme formats – those that have been widely spread and those that have had an active presence across social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.