We’ve all seen them. We’ve seen them in the form of text, and we’ve seen them in image form. We’ve seen them when they were funny, and when they were not. But what are they? Who were they created by? And how did they become what they are today? Internet memes are everywhere, and they’ve been in our lives as long as the internet has existed. But where did they all come from?
(PCM) Internet memes have become a staple of pop culture, as we probably see an average of 50 or more of these often hilarious images on our social media every day. Depending on who you follow, you can meet many more people. Some are worth sharing, while others border on the line between dark humor and offensive or inappropriate comments.
Anyway, internet memes are definitely here to stay, but do you remember where they came from? One of the first examples of an internet meme is the famous Dancing Baby meme from 1996. It was often sent through viral email networks and featured a short video clip with a 3D image of a baby in a diaper dancing to the song Hooked on a Feeling by Swedish rock band Blue Swede.
It was released as a source file for a sample product in Character Studio, a 3D character animation software. The dancing baby meme has become so popular that it has even starred in the television series Ally McBeal, as a hilarious metaphor for the ticking of the main character’s biological clock.
Even before the Dancing Baby meme became popular, there was the Godwin’s Law meme, which originated in 1990. It is one of the most famous internet memes, and many believe it is still relevant today.
A guy named Mike Godwin wrote the following on a Usenet forum: The longer the online discussion goes on, the more likely comparisons with Hitler become. This means that the longer the conversation goes on online, the more likely someone is to talk about Adolf Hitler or the Nazis.
Nowadays, people use Godwin’s law to indicate the end of a conversation after Hitler or the Nazis have been mentioned, noting that the person who mentioned Hitler has lost the discussion.
Now it’s the turn of the boring and catchy Hampster Dance Meme. We know you guys remember this song, because it’s been in your heads for weeks. The website hampsterdance.com was created in 1998 as a result of a contest between Canadian students to see who would get the most traffic.
The site’s popularity led to the release of a song called The Hampsterdance Song, produced by the Boomtang Boys and released in 2000 – it was based on a sample from Whistle Stop. The song has been used in several movies, and Canadian animation studio Nelvana even planned an animated series based on the hamsters. We are partly grateful that this idea never came to fruition!
After all, we’ve all seen a meme with a reaction to a photo, like. B. the Michael Jackson meme eating popcorn and saying: I’m only here for the comments, but even before that, the This is a trap meme was accompanied by an image and quote from the Star Wars character Admiral Ackbar in Star Wars VI: The Last Jedi with the caption It’s A Trap, warning of possible spoofing methods or dubious internet users.
Although the film was released in 1983, the popularity of the meme skyrocketed in the early 2000s and continues to this day.
These are some of the first known memes that created the internet phenomenon as we know it today. The Thrillist.com team has identified the key characteristics of a good meme, which can be summarized as follows:
Message: There must be a central idea or reference that is clearly defined, understandable and related to generally accepted knowledge or experience. The medium of the message cannot be reduced to image or text; it can be both, or the other, or the third. Or just video or audio.
Evolution: A meme cannot remain static. It needs to be adopted and remixed by the community of people who adopt it.
Flexibility: It must contribute to its own development by exhibiting certain characteristics that can be modified while retaining some semblance of an original message.
Effect: It has to reach a certain level of popularity and understanding, otherwise the message is not important. Perhaps the most important aspect of a meme is its virality.
We think this is one of the best ways to do it, and the internet meme is definitely something that will stick!
This source has been very much helpful in doing our research. Read more about when were memes invented and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
What was the first Internet meme?
The first meme ever on the internet is indeed one of the most famous one out there. The term “LOLcat” was first used on the internet when someone added a “funny” picture of a kitten to a popular image board, and posted the words “I can has cheezburger?” It was then picked up by other users of the image board, who would post pictures of their own cats, often in costume, in similar language. Eventually, it became common to caption pictures of cats with phrases that were meant to be humorous or amusing. The concept of a meme is not new. In fact, it has been in use since the 18 th century, when philosopher and economist Richard Dawkin used it to describe the process of inheriting traits from one generation to the next. However, it wasn’t until the early 2000s when this term was co-opted on the Internet, creating an entire subculture based on the idea of “memeing”. The term is credited to Richard Dawkins, who coined the word to mean “an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.” The first memes were actually images that would go on to become some of the most famous Internet phenomena of all time. These included the lolcat, demotivator,
What is the most popular meme on the Internet?
The most popular meme on the Internet is the meme that is a picture of a cat with a phrase (an overused phrase) underneath the cat. While the Internet is now full of memes, there was once only one. This meme, dubbed “hahaha” by 4chan users, was the first meme ever on the Internet. It originated on 4chan’s /b/ board on June 27, 2007, when an anonymous user posted the phrase “I can has cheezburger?” to the image hosting service. This meme, commonly known as LOLcats, quickly took the Internet by storm. The phrase was so popular that it spawned several variants including “doge”, “an hero” and “all your base are belong to us”, to name a few.
When was the word meme first used?
The word meme was first used by evolutionary biologist and biochemist Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene. Dawkins’ original definition of meme was “a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation”. The word has since developed into a catch-all term for any viral Internet phenomenon, a social behavior, or even an idea that spreads from person to person within a culture. The word meme has become a buzz word in the 21st century, and it’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t understand what it means. The term’s origins as a concept can be traced back to the early 1970s, when renowned ethologist Richard Dawkins used the word as a placeholder in his book The Selfish Gene to describe something that was copied by humans. It wasn’t until the early 1980s, though, that the word “meme” really appeared in the public consciousness.
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