Meme Anyone?

OK all you Silent Generation, Baby Boomers and Generation X’s how many of you know what a meme is?

Until a couple of weeks ago, I had not encountered the term, however having consulted my online dictionary guru Wikipedia I now know that meme has been around since the seventies and was originally explained in Richard Dawkin’s book The Selfish Gene.

A meme is an idea, behaviour, or style that spreads by means of imitation from person to person within a culture—often with the aim of conveying a particular phenomenon, theme, or meaning represented by the meme.


So now that we are all on the same page, what does it look like? Have you seen one? Still wondering?

Well it starts with an image that someone adds hilarious text to and posts it on social media, this is known as an image macro. If others like the idea and put their slant on the same image and it spreads across the internet, then it becomes a meme.

Maybe an example will help? The image ‘distracted boyfriend’ by Spanish photographer Antonio Guillem went viral in 2007 with suggestive text embellishments. In additional to thousands of images based on the original photograph, this meme also includes duplicating the original image with substitution of one or all participant. The image below is a very small sample from google images, I like the Donald Trump example.   

Recently Dolly Parton posted a meme based on four different image profiles mimicking the  different content one might post on the social media communities and it went viral both with mainstream and celebrity users and is associated with the #dollypartonchallenge. I read about the meme going viral in a news item which led me to investigate further.

So having been introduced to the idea, think you might like to create one in the theme of Dolly’s challenge. Stop now, before you spend time cropping photos, adding text and reframing to fit (like I did) I have since found that there are meme generator templates available online that does all the hard work for you.

Anyway job done, meme created and posted on my Instagram account (another new skill of recent times), who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But will I meme often, not likely but I have also learnt never tp say never.

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