Memes are an important part of our life because we use them to share joy and laughter with others.
The Odyssey Online explains how the word ‘meme’ is derived from the Greek word ‘mimēma’, which means ‘an element of a culture or a system of behaviour that may be considered to pass from one individual to another by non-genetic means, especially through imitation.’ As a result, memes are so widespread that it’s nearly impossible to go a day without seeing one – their appeal is global.
Memes have also been used to portray a sense of dissatisfaction regarding specific topics, world events and scenarios that we can all identify with. So, let’s look at what can memes do within societies?
People Can De-Stress With Memes
They frequently address difficult to-discuss themes. Memes can address social pressures, politics, big social shifts through ways that can make people laugh while making a point. Therefore, memes that express how people feel and challenge them to think about topics in fresh ways are extremely popular and actually quite crucial.
How Are Memes Significant Within The MENA Region?
Apart from being a wonderful way to lighten the mood when things are tough. Let’s look at this example of Lebanese students suffering to do their assignments and projects as a result of the country’s power shortage.
Not only are memes are a popular source of the Middle East’s entertainment, satire and amusement, but they also allow people to confront outdated aspects of society comically.
The Durability Of Memes
Although most memes circulate or trend for a couple of days then disappear, one cannot deny the long-term influence they have on society and even politics!
Memes played a big role in the Arab Spring, as people used comedy and satire to mock the prevailing regimes. People were eager to create memes that mocked their current challenges and the issues they face in society. Here’s a meme that features Middle Eastern government leaders that are depicted as “dictators” by their own people. The major objective is to depict the idea of stripping away their dictatorships, which has enraged people for decades.
The Suez Canal Blockage
Another example is the Evergreen cargo ship, which had captivated the attention of the entire world, prompting memes to ridicule the situation.
The large ship stranded in the Suez Canal has been freed after nearly a week. The economic fallout has caused widespread concern around the world. However, the internet was having a good time and memes started to spread across various platforms left, right and centre.
A meme can be presented to hundreds of individuals with a single click of a button, who can then share it with even more people. According to a study from Indiana University, the more groups a meme enters, the more viral it gets.
A Sense Of Human Connection In The Digital World
People become more engaged with social media as they follow recent trends. Those trends are what help create content that helps enable people to create their own memes. This in turn helps shape different perspectives on the topic trending and allow for further discussions within communities.
This also establishes them as a key tool for fostering a sense of interconnectedness. Not every meme that appears on our social media timelines is understood by everyone. Understanding a meme necessitates a certain level of cultural awareness, and it frequently necessitates an understanding of obscure pop-culture allusions. When individuals comprehend a meme, it means they’re aware of the references.
Bringing Us Together?
One of the ways people communicate most effectively is through memes. People from many walks of life can enjoy them because they are like basic rhythms in music, and are typically a universal language that can reach various groups across the globe.
A College Degree In Memes?
Yes, you read that correctly! You can now major in Memes and study them. Several Universities have an established Memes Studies Department. UC Berkeley, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Maine at Presque Isle are among these institutions. Other universities, such as Brown University, offer courses for those interested in learning more about their origin and significance within different societies.
“Memes are a significant component of today’s pop culture and people’s lives,” Vanessa Pearson, Dean of Students at the University of Maine at Presque Isle, said. “We want to provide the widest range of educational opportunities possible.” She goes on to say that the university will offer courses in Meme History & Evolution, Meme Design, and Meme Marketing.
As a result, memes will continue to reach wider audiences, including students who will learn more about their power and significance in today’s society.