That’s so meme
Our Lol-worthy favourites
ever found yourself lying in bed, scrolling through internet memes at 2am and proclaiming “OMG that’s so me”? If you have – memes themselves tend to remind us – you are not alone.
The concept of ‘internet memes’ was first observed in a Wired article by writer Mike Godwin. He described them as “infectious ideas” – small units of life expressed in pictures, quotes, videos and gifs that are shared over and over again as a way to show who we are, what we believe, our emotions or our humour.
“Sharing memes is enjoyable and even addictive because it allows people to share common experiences,” says cultural and linguistic anthropologist Nell Haynes.
Stuart Jones at Cape Town’s Citizen Research Centre says, “Racist, sexist or homophobic memes, memes that deal in crass stereotypes, memes that mock others or amplify an ideological point of view can be very harmful. They hide behind humour while expressing toxic opinions.”
On the flip side, “The comfort lies in feeling that there are others like ourselves; in the social media world we are not alone,” Stuart says.
A good meme captures something we all share. That’s why we laugh, cringe and pass them on.
Here are a few of our favourites.