Benjamin Bouwman (original post 02/11/2012 – Edited on 28/03/2013)
“Be funny and they will like you” is a well-known saying, and we are trying to act this way in our normal life’s.
Because, well we want to be entertain and we want people to like us. So we make small talk with the boss, with the teachers, with the girl at the counter.
But what about our digital life’s do they want to be funny? And what is funny on the internet?
Jokes here are not the trend, the way we started to tell jokes is the trend. I’m talking about the sudden explosion of internet memes. User generated jokes, that when expected by the community will go around the world in less than an hour. Simple pictures with a one liner on them, has now spanned a whole family of memes. It seems like there is a meme for every situation. I’m not sure it changes the norms and values but your slowly getting to see that on facebook, twitter but also in real life people use the sentences of meme in real life conversations. So it leaves a mark.
Let’s explain the growing phase;
So where did this come from. In 2004 a site called 4chan, a forum for Asian and gamer lovers, posted the first meme. “All your base are belong to us.”
A reference to a wrongly translated line of a video game. But the true potential of internet memes came when 4chan first issued ‘The rick roll’.
No youtube clip, no subject, no images, no internet link was save anymore. Because behind every clicked there could be a rick roll.
Aldo the images where funny, and slowly were becoming a “thing” on the internet, 4chan itself was getting more famous for their sexual content than the memes they started.
Memes where never gone but they stayed on the surface, until in 2008 a site was launched, called 9gag. And the memes where back.
The different memes exploded, I bet you can’t scroll down your facebook page right now without seeing one 9gag or 9gag inspired image or post. It’s unbelievable what is happening, and all to be funny. 9gag allows everyone in the whole world, to upload their image or movie, which are then judged by the community.
But if your picture makes it, it will be famous. And for a short period of time, will be. Easily receiving over a million likes and shares in 24 hours.
Aldo your picture won’t be famous for long, as the next big thing is already there, you can always try to creating a new meme. This happens once in a while; a new meme will show up and will be hot for some time, alto some will fade away. In hindsight, between the original version of this article and this edit, we have seen the rise and decline of the “Actual Advise Mallard.”
Remember those ‘What I think I’m doing’-meme, basically six pictures of showing what several people in your personal life think that you are doing. It was hot…and its gone.
Why did I write that so weird, because this is also a meme what is pretty young, when I first wrote this article, but know it’s already faded away. Again showing how fast it can go with memes.
9gag remains a trend and a hot one as well. The site had 1 billion monthly pageviews as of Dec 2011. And in mine opinion it will be here for a while, because for most users it’s an easy way to be entertained, and to get your 15 minutes of fame.
I mean, this is maybe hard to be excited about, but I am.
To realize that there is a guy out there, somewhere who invented ‘Bad luck Brian’. Isn’t that amazing? The creating of this meme, so the creativity of this guy, is better known around the world then say for example Homer Simpson. Yet, we have no idea who the creator is. Like most memes, the upload is anonymous. And even if you say you created a hot meme, changes are nobody would believe you anyway.
I think it’s a interesting trend, because of the huge coverage. A single image can be a very huge hype one day and be gone the next, while some memes seem to be staying forever. Like the LOLcat. Making the different memes the hype and craze. But the meme itself the trend.
So, considering the first Meme is traced back to 2004, in the pyramid it is almost a megatrend. It all comes out the trend of being accepted, or getting famous via the internet.
So I say, the meme trend is huge. Do you think it will ever stop?
Because, if you count from 4chan the internetmemes are there since 2004 and only getting bigger and more popular every year. Why do people want their anonymous 15 seconds of fame. As the uploads on 9gag are almost one meme per second. Everybody is trying to get on that front page. Is it that important to be funny? Why do you put yourself on the line in front of a judge of millions of people, who will make harsh comments? Do you, yourself make memes? Or share them?