Zia Hassan

Its Not A Meme

These days, a meme is how people describe a picture that has text over it in a particular font. It’s a piece of art that captures the zeitgeist of internet culture.

But the meaning of the word has changed. Memes may look a certain way, and they can be emulated with apps and generators…

But it used to be that a meme meant something more specific. It referred to a specific photo, video, or idea that went viral, that was modified and bastardized, beaten to its very last breath. Think of nyaan cat or success fist pumping kid or the african child with the white woman.

Simply putting big text over a photo doesn’t make it a meme. That’s perhaps a parody of a meme but it misses the point. The meme hits the mark, and it inspires us in its odd way.