Very Wow: A Cultural Change

Memes have slowly become a large part of our everyday live.

A meme being used as a protest sign against inflation.


A meme being used as a protest sign against inflation.

Jameson Kowalski, Columnist

Memes were originally designed as a form of internet entertainment, but they have slowly transformed into a source of news and a part of everyday conversations. Memes became popular along with the rise of social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and later Reddit. People grew to love memes because of their simple format in the form of a picture or video, as well as how easy they were to create. 

Memes work in a way that is easy to understand. According to The Bridge Chronicle, memes take cultural information and change the context of it, making it more humorous to the consumer.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was an overload of memes being created and an equal amount of memes being consumed. This led to many claims that memes were their own culture, one that we enjoy consuming. It works well with the rise of the digital generation, as well. The kids who grew up using smartphones and iPads are now part of this online community.

Memes have also been used to share opinions. One of the first instances of memes being used as a way of spreading a cause was the 2018 #MeToo Movement, which included a collection of memes that were used to try and expose gender inequality in China. According to the BBC, the images followed the same basic structure of a rice bowl and a rabbit with the words “Mi” and “Tu” over each image. Since then, memes have been used to spread news, mock governmental officials, and make predictions on what might happen. 

Memes are also fun pieces of entertainment. A report from Digital Information World stated that during the pandemic, up to 1 million memes were shared on instagram per day. These memes consisted of references to pop culture, celebrities, sports, and more. They provided people with comfort during a scary time. Now you see them all over the internet for many different reasons. All this points to evidence that memes are not just part of our culture, but instead, they are their own culture.

Memes work as a way of sharing information that is lighthearted and funny. While memes are used as entertainment, they have also been adopted as a way to share your opinion about something with a wider audience. It is becoming apparent that memes aren’t just a part of our culture, but they are their own culture and community unto themselves.