Memes. Temes?

Advances in technologies also advanced the possibilities of memes. As a virus, they can now spread faster and in many different forms. Looking at the Meme Timeline, I noticed that the current memes listed are almost exclusively videos. They have transformed from simple internet pages and began to use new technology available to the average internet user. The ability to adapt to current trends and play of societies idea of humor at the given moment in time makes memes even more contagious. Not only has the type of memes evolved but the way memes are spread has also changed. With the invention of online social networks, memes can be posted and it is the users choice to click the link or not. E-mail is still relevant in the role of meme spreading but with more “friends” on Facebook than in most email contact lists, memes have more possibilities. Chain e-mails have become chain texts. What new technology might allow for the spread of memes to even more aspects of life? The “copy and paste” idea has lead memes to almost “copy and paste” themselves. With a few clicks, no matter what internet technology, a meme can be spread so fast that it is almost impossible to track.

Viral occurrences happen everyday. Viruses, when treated correctly also go away. Memes gather followings and when the event or topic becomes irrelevant the buzz dies down. It is all connected to Malcolm Gladwell’s idea of a tipping point. Arguably though, they do not go away. They are kept on the internet or in pictures. At any given time they can be found again. But has there ever been a revival of a meme? After the initial virus and spread, is it possible for a meme to gain as much attention again? I think this would be very hard considering the plethora of new information and humorous situations that have possibilities of being turned into a meme. But if you were part of a past meme when it was big, the possibility of you sharing it with someone who might have missed it is always there and most likely you will be able to find it on the internet.

When I was looking for memes I came across Susan Blackmore. She says that the basic definition of a meme is, “That which is imitated.” Her TED talk is about 20 minutes but has some very good points. She finds memes in everything. Even in the folding of toilet paper in bathrooms around the world. She connects the spread of the meme to the evolution of our brain. Her view of memes makes you think about why and what you look at and how it spreads. She calls the changing processes of technology memes “temes.” Temes make us do things we think we want to, according to her. The spread and growth of memes, temes and replication is still continuing.


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