Have you ever wondered how your child can spend an hour on a mobile phone looking at thousands of pictures with a few words each and watching compilations of videoclips without feeling bored? Or ever baffled why comment sections these days are flooded with funny images or GIFs of animals, important persons, Jeff and so on with creative captions which make the images more hilarious? Moreover, at onetime there are hundreds of videos of people doing something that seems absurd, such as leaning forward while running and holding their arms straight out behind their torso, but surprisingly, they get lots of likes and views. These may raise questions to many adults: what are kids these days up to? And why such things spread on the internet like a pandemic? Here we will find them together down below.
Before anything else, we should give an appropriate name for the above-mentioned images of whatever, GIFs and video clips, so that we can add more cool word in our vocabulary, and then we are be able to start a lively conversation with teens, as well as understanding their world more. Anyway, all of those are called memes. To be more precise, a meme is something that presents an idea or action that is passed on from one person to another through letters, images, videos, some sort of symbols or imitation behaviors. Now, as you already grasped a definition of meme, we can move to the main part of this article.
One reason why memes become popular is they are full of contents which relate to any group of people. As a large meme community consists of more than thousands of meme creators, dedicating their lives into creating memes, which is inspired by individual experience so as to make the world a happier place, there are more than enough meme sections to suit all youths’ tastes. For this reason, memes capture their attention to keep engaging with memes by feeding information regarding to the topics they are interested in, for example, animals, television series, musical band, games and social movements.
Second is memes fulfill emotional needs. Memes can boost their mood when they have a bad day at school with a funny picture of a cute corgi doing something stupid with a caption “how to be a fricking potato”. Besides, a sense of humor is not the only thing memes can provide, but also a sense of belonging. Imagine you were born in a Hawaiian-pizza-lover community, and you were the only one that did not like pineapple on pizza. It would be a pain to feel like a black sheep in your own group, would not it? That is where memes come in. By browsing memes, you will discover the rest of the world also hate pineapple on pizza. This discovery eliminates a sense of isolation and help you feel connected with the persons who agree with your opinion. Also, sharing memes has the same result. Some decide to share memes because they wait for others who share the same interest to engage with the memes through a like button, share button or having a conversation. Or they just share the memes with a simple reason: to bring valuable and entertaining contents to others.
Last, memes are concise and easy to understand. According to the Telegraph, the average human attention span has shortened from 12 seconds to 8 seconds. At this rate, even watching a short movie can be difficult sometimes since some may feel bored before the movie reach its climax. Similarly, doing such activities as reading a whole research and finding a gist to write an annotated bibliography is out of the question. However, memes get rid of the aforementioned problem. Most of them are pictures with just a few words scattered around. Therefore, it takes a brief moment to understand the main idea that the meme creators try to convey. This characteristic of memes is especially useful when there is a controversial debate on a complicated topic that takes much time to interpret since memes can be a summary of the debate itself. Thus, in order to know what is going on in one day, one can simply scroll through meme feed instead of reading actual news.
Overall, memes satisfy the desire for fast and efficient media. They help us receive more information we prefer in one day than we used to. Furthermore, they are like abridge that makes a connection between people from different parts of world who have something in common. Hence, meme culture will not disappear anytime soon; it is always active and even keep growing.