To meme or not to meme

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According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a meme is “an idea, behavior, style or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture.”

This definition is accurate in the case of internet memes, which can evolve from a single post or tweet into an enormous Tumblr tag within hours.

“Alex from Target” is a clear example of quickly-exploding memes. A British teenager created the meme on November 2, 2014 when she tweeted a picture of Target employee, Alex Lee, that she found while exploring Tumblr. The picture’s caption said, “YOOOOOOOO,” and immediately sparked the Internet’s interest.

This is one of the many "Alex from Target" memes that have circulated throughout the Internet. Like a plethora of other memes, this picture incorporates other popular culture. Photo credited to Google Images.

This is one of the many “Alex from Target” memes that has circulated through the Internet. Like a plethora of other memes, this picture incorporates other popular culture. Photo credited to Google Images.

In less than 24 hours, #alexfromtarget was a Tumblr tag, a trending topic on Twitter, and had made its way to a myriad of other sites and apps. Sophomore Ciara Atencio said, “[That’s] so creepy. I mean, it’s cool if he likes [the overnight fame], but that’s really creepy that someone was like ‘Hey! Look! He’s hot. Let’s invade his privacy.’”

Other popular memes include “Forever Alone,” “Doge,” “Grumpy Cat,” “Overly Attached Girlfriend,” and “Bad Luck Brian.” Junior Noah Farmer said, “[My favorite meme is the] Skeleton War, bro, Skeleton War because you have to fight the skeletons.”

Anything can be made into a meme. Video game glitches, pictures of cats, Youtube videos, lines from television shows, and more! For example, a Reddit user uploaded the original picture of “Grumpy Cat” and in 24 hours, the original picture and its parodies reached Reddit’s front page with over 25,000 upvotes.

This particular "Grumpy Cat" meme displays the Internet community's knack for creating new and original content. Photo credited to Google Images.

This particular “Grumpy Cat” meme displays the Internet community’s knack for creating new and original content. Photo credited to Google Images.

In addition to their original intention to amuse, memes create a sense of community throughout the internet and its users. Sophomore Kate McLeod said “It’s just something to laugh over and be like ‘Hey, did you see that one? That one’s really funny.’ It’s just really nice.”

Internet users generate new memes everyday. Inside jokes, odd observations and entertaining pictures are just a few of the endless possibilities for meme material. If you want to try and create your own meme, click on the link below.

 

http://www.quickmeme.com/caption

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