10 August, by Can Mai Hong Ngoc
Have you ever go online just to see some funny pictures to have some laugh after one terrible day? I did that a lot, and still do until now.
These recent years, with the rapid development of social media, Internet users, especially the young generation, can seek for a variety of entertainment tools. One of those I want to focus today is the online memes, which is one of the most popular and influential media content that created by the Internet users themselves.
Arandilla (2011) explained that Internet memes are mostly jokes floating around the virtual communities, visualized by funny images or videos, but have a truly high speed of spreading. Some people might think that these pictures are naturally ‘useless’, or are created by people that have nothing to do in real life, but actually the more people use the Internet, the more influence that memes can have on them.
Some memes are just stay the same, only the text appear on it changes, as many and many people re-adapt them, modify, and create their own ones to have some fun.
The netizens also have no limitation in using images, even the nude ones, or the ones with famous people on them. For instance, even American President Barack Obama’s image is used as an illustration for some certain kind of joke.
Yeo (2011) stated that it can be easy for us to dismiss memes as ‘merely for entertainment’, but we cannot deny that memes can catch our attention right immediately. Davis (2011) even stressed that Internet memes can somehow construct, frame, and reveal cultural realities. As the more people exposed to certain kind of ideas, the higher possibility those ideas become norm and be accepted.
In a global scale, there are several websites that are dedicated to this particular topic. 9GAG, which refers to an online platform in which all Internet users can share, upload funny images, videos and texts, to have fun together, is an example. 9GAG had more than 67 million unique visitors and more than 2 billions page views up until March 2012 (Gannes 2012). Along with Reddit, Digg and 4chan, 9GAG are one of the most popular user-generated content websites that focuses on memes-sharing in the world. In Vietnam, there is also a website called Haivl, with the same purpose of helping people to get some laugh as this is the source for lots of creative and funny memes.
As entertainment is a crucial part of our lives, it is not a surprise to witness the boom of online memes and its high speed of spreading. Despite the fact that some people can criticize memes as a ‘waste of time’ to see, its impact and potential on shaping human humor and ideology is undeniable. Also, online memes once again strengthen the idea of User-generated Content empowering Internet users to influence others by their creativity, even though that creativity coming from modifying, remixing and redesign what have been existed.
Word Count: 505
Arandilla, R 2011, ‘The Power of Internet Memes And A Lot Of Fun Along The Way’, 1st Web Designer, n.d, viewed 8 August 2014, <http://www.1stwebdesigner.com/design/power-internet-memes/>
Yeo, A 2011, ‘You and Meme: Why Memes matter’, Tech in Asia, 14 January, viewed 8 August 2014, <http://www.techinasia.com/internet-meme/>
Davis, J 2011, ‘Internet Memes: The Mythology of Augmented Society’, The Society Pages, 6 December, viewed 8 August 2014, <http://thesocietypages.org/cyborgology/2011/12/06/internet-memes-the-mythology-of-augmented-society/>
Gannes, L 2012, ‘Meet 9GAG, the Community Comedy Site That’s Growing Like Crazy’, All Things D, 12 April, viewed 8 August 2014, <http://allthingsd.com/20120412/meet-9gag-the-community-comedy-site-thats-growing-like-crazy/>
VP Fun World 2014, ‘Most Popular Memes of all Time’, image, n.d, viewed 8 August 2014, <http://www.vpfunworld.com/most-popular-memes-of-all-time/most-popular-memes-of-all-time/>
Pretty Cool Pics 2014, ‘Funniest Celebrity Meme’, image, n.d, viewed 8 August 2014, <http://prettycoolpics.com/funniest-celebrity-meme/>
Ridley, R 2010, ‘Internet Memes’, Science Focus, 26 August, viewed 8 August 2014, <http://sciencefocus.com/feature/tech/internet-memes>