What Is a Meme?
A meme is a cultural symbol or idea that spreads quickly and broadly by means of imitation, especially within a particular online community. Memes can take the form of images, videos, phrases, and even hashtags, and are typically humorous or satirical in nature.
The word “meme” was coined by British biologist Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book The Selfish
Gene, where he described it as an idea or behavior that spreads from person to person through imitation. Dawkins likened memes to genes, in that they undergo a process of natural selection and evolution based on their ability to replicate.
Today, memes have evolved into a ubiquitous aspect of internet culture, with entire websites, social media pages, and even subcultures dedicated to their creation and dissemination. They are often created by taking an existing image or video and overlaying it with a witty or relatable caption, which is then shared and re-shared across various social media platforms.
Memes have the ability to transcend language barriers and unite people with shared cultural experiences, as well as challenge societal norms and provide a medium for individuals to express their opinions and beliefs. However, they also have the potential to perpetuate harmful stereotypes and misinformation, and can be subject to copyright and intellectual property laws.