What’s an Internet Meme?

There is a lot of abbreviations and slang on the internet. Here is another popular one that you might not know about. Here’s what it is, what it means, and how to use it. Online and off.

A lot of online humor begins with an internet meme. Seen primarily on social networking platforms, memes have changed over the years depending on what’s popular. Here are our latest entries in the series of internet slang and abbreviations.

What is an Internet Meme?

Typically featuring a combination of image macros and a concept or catchphrase, the internet meme is an important part of internet culture. The reason? Because of their humorous nature, internet memes can spread virally across various avenues online, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social networking platforms, and also through email or text.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines “meme” as “an image, video, piece of text, typically humorous in nature, that is copied and spread rapidly by internet users, often with slight variations.”

According to Just Ask Thales, the word meme was first used by English biologist Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book, The Selfish Gene. He attempted to explain the way cultural information spreads. In June 1993, American author Michael Godwin discussed the concept of an internet meme for the first time.

Types of Memes

Typically, memes fall into one of three categories, including:

  • Ironic memes intentionally deliver bad, unfunny, or low-quality content to joke about something.
  • An absurd meme is one that makes no sense but is funny nonetheless. These usually involve random concepts that are established in internet culture.
  • Video memes, not surprisingly, are very popular and feature short videos shared on social media services. They almost always include memorable comments to make the viewer laugh.

Favorite Internet Memes

The following are some of the most well-known and popular internet memes:

internet memes

Why Use Them?

Finally, why do people use internet memes in the first place? Besides the overreaching humorous aspect, memes create pure shock value and sometimes convey a life lesson. Memes typically appeal to the masses, although some deliberately make sense to only a small group of people.

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