By the end of the 20th century, memes had become so widespread that they were the subject of popular culture.
In his novel, The Social Network, the sociologist Michael Lewis described how memes could be used to “give you a sense of the collective personality of a community”.
The Internet is perhaps the only place where this phenomenon has happened with a vengeance.
“It’s like a kind of global network that you can tap into,” Professor MacLachlan said.
“What we’re seeing now is the very nature of this collective personality being preserved.”
“What are we looking at?
A very strange, weird, and quite alien phenomenon that’s being perpetuated on the Internet, and we’re just sort of looking at it as a sort of strange phenomenon,” he said.
Professor Maclachlan says the phenomenon of memes has been “maintained” because memes are so common and have been widely adopted by the culture.
But memes aren’t just for internet users.
“They’re ubiquitous, they’re embedded in the culture, and that’s what makes it so insidious,” he says.
“So we’re beginning to wonder what we are seeing in terms of the kinds of things that are being communicated through the internet.”
“If you’re not familiar with memes, they are a way of doing a quick and dirty image and then using it to communicate a thought or a feeling,” Professor Lewis said.
He described memes as a way for people to “emote their own emotions and to make a quick comment on something”.
The use of memes is “a way of giving you a feeling of the individual personality of the community” The most famous example of memes being used in public discourse was in 2012, when the US State Department posted a photo of a dog and a human face.
The image appeared on the US website Twitter under the caption “Dog and Human Face on the State Department’s Twitter page.”
The image was quickly removed.
The tweet has since been deleted.
Professor Lewis says memes are “the easiest thing in the world to use for political and social commentary”.
It’s easy to say, ‘Well, the people are stupid, we need to use memes to spread our ideas,’ but it’s actually very difficult to do that in a way that you’re actually making a real contribution to society.” “
That’s a very difficult thing to do.
It’s easy to say, ‘Well, the people are stupid, we need to use memes to spread our ideas,’ but it’s actually very difficult to do that in a way that you’re actually making a real contribution to society.”
The internet has also been used for social commentary, including by the anti-Trump protesters.
“When you have a very large group of people that are participating in a public forum, they can often make the point that the political class is not very nice people, and the media is biased and they need to get some of those things out of the way,” Professor Simon Chapman said.
While some memes are intended to be funny, others are meant to be a sort “of slapstick of how the internet works”.
A group of researchers at the University of Adelaide has recently shown that when people use a popular meme for an online debate, the majority of the participants will also respond to the comment with a negative comment.
“We think it’s a fairly powerful tool for people who have a kind or a dislike of politics and a lot of political disagreement,” Professor Chapman said, but said the meme could be a tool for the wrong people.
Professor Chapman says the term “meme economy” is not a term that should be used in a positive light, because “it’s very problematic for anyone to be using it”.
“It could potentially be used for anything and everything, whether it’s in politics, in business, in the media, and so forth,” he explained.
“The only way to know for sure is to find out how much use the meme has made in this particular forum.”
Topics: internet-culture, culture, religion-and-beliefs, world-politics, arts-and