How to Make a Meme:

5 Easy Steps to Be­come a Meme Mas­ter

iPhone Life Magazine - - Top Tips - by Con­ner Carey

You may have heard the word meme some­where on the in­ter­net and won­dered: “What is a meme?” Memes are those funny im­ages or me­dia clips you see on­line that tell a story. I love memes be­cause of the odd feel­ing of con­nec­tion you get when you res­onate with what some­one else has cre­ated or shared. They have a way of in­ter­rupt­ing your work­day in the best of ways, send­ing you into a fit of laugh­ter or per­fectly sum­ming up a ex­pe­ri­ence we all can re­late to.

In this ar­ti­cle, I'm go­ing to teach you how to cre­ate your own memes, so you too can add a lit­tle laugh­ter to the world. If you're feel­ing over­whelmed, don't panic. Once you un­der­stand one meme, you'll see the whole premise clearly, and I'll give you plenty of ex­am­ples to clar­ify along the way.

Step 1: What Is a Meme?

You might not guess by the spell­ing, but meme rhymes with dream. Once you've got the pro­nun­ci­a­tion down, you're well on your way to meme mastery. To put it sim­ply, a meme is usu­ally a reused image with clev­erly cap­tioned words. How­ever, a meme can ap­pear as any com­bi­na­tion of pho­tos, videos, songs, GIFs, or words that spread vi­rally on the in­ter­net. The image in a meme of­ten pro­vides sig­nif­i­cant con­text to any text, so much so that a meme might make no sense un­less you're in on the joke and know the back­story.

Step 2: Do Your Re­search

Cre­at­ing a meme is easy. Cre­at­ing a funny meme is sig­nif­i­cantly less easy. The best way to get started is to look up the memes you don't un­der­stand as you come across them. Once you have a gen­eral knowl­edge of some com­mon ones, cre­at­ing your own will come more nat­u­rally.

Of­ten you'll see the same photo used for nu­mer­ous memes on­line. Take the pop­u­lar meme Philoso­rap­tor, for ex­am­ple, which is the image of a rap­tor scratch­ing its chin as though pon­der­ing ex­is­ten­tial ques­tions of the uni­verse.

You may have also heard of a His­tory Chan­nel show called An­cient Aliens. Be­cause of a se­vere lack of science and bias to­ward aliens be­ing the an­swer to every­thing strange about the an­cient pyra­mids, An­cient Aliens memes be­gan cir­cu­lat­ing. The an­swer to this meme—fea­tur­ing an in­ter­view with the­o­rist Gior­gio A. Tsouka­los—is al­most al­ways aliens, with some con­spir­acy the­o­ries, gen­eral mock­ery, and puns thrown into the mix.

For more in­spi­ra­tion, Tum­blr, Face­book, and 9GAG (be­ware of ob­scene con­tent) are all good places to look.

How to Make a Meme

There are about a mil­lion ( slight ex­ag­ger­a­tion) meme gen­er­a­tors on the web and App Store, but my fa­vorite method is to use an iPhone app called Meme Gen­er­a­tor Free. It has the most free font cus­tomiza­tion op­tions of any meme app I've tried.

To get started, down­load and open Meme Gen­er­a­tor Free. You'll see a list of fea­tured memes. Tap the three hor­i­zon­tal lines in the up­per left corner to browse New, Pop­u­lar, and Ran­dom Memes. If you have a meme in mind you'd like to find, swipe down from the top of the screen to re­veal a search bar, and type in a phrase. Once you find the meme image you want to use, tap on it.

Tap Ex­am­ple at the bot­tom to see some ex­am­ples of text that would fit the image. They aren't the most clev­erly writ­ten cap­tions, but it's a great spring­board, par­tic­u­larly for be­gin­ners. Tap the text bars at the top to edit your cap­tion.

You can tap the icons in the up­per right corner to fur­ther cus­tomize your meme image and cap­tion op­tions. When you're sat­is­fied with your meme, tap Save to store the meme in your iPhone Pho­tos app or Share to dis­trib­ute it via so­cial me­dia, Mes­sages, or Mail.

Us­ing Your Own Photo

Com­monly used meme im­ages are cool, but it's way more fun when you can cre­ate a meme from your own photo. All of the meme-maker apps I've tested out in­clude the op­tion to use your own pic­ture. To do this with Meme Gen­er­a­tor Free, tap the plus sign in the up­per right corner of the screen. Choose Take Photo or Choose from Li­brary. You'll be asked to give the app per­mis­sion to ac­cess your pho­tos or cam­era. Tap Ok. Se­lect or take a pic­ture and then fol­low the usual steps for adding a cap­tion. At the end you'll have your very own orig­i­nal meme!

Truly, the meme craze has cre­ated a won­der­ful on­line com­mu­nity; when we find com­mon joy in these pop­u­lar­ized phrases, videos, and im­ages, we're cel­e­brat­ing the silli­ness of the in­ter­net and life it­self.

Once you find an image from Meme Gen­er­a­tor Free’s li­brary, you can view ex­am­ple cap­tions be­fore writ­ing your own words.

When us­ing your own photo, you can snap a photo in the app or choose from your iPhone’s cam­era roll.

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