Sample Research Paper on How Memes Appear and Disappear

A person who has used the internet in the past few days has probably come across a
couple of memes. Evolutionary biologist, Richard Dawkins was the first person to introduce the
word meme in 1976. Mimema is a Greek word that brought about meme name. According to
Richard, memes are a form of propagation of culture to transmit ideas of the culture and social
memories to one another. The idea of the meme will travel from a person to another person’s
mind unlike how the genes will travel from a location to another amongst living things. Modern
memes travel instantly and spread faster through the internet. Internet memes are full of humour
as they grab the attention of the people than the actual meme content. A modern meme is
transmitted virally through a photograph captioned with texts that provokes humour as a social
idea or the symbol of culture. Most of the modern memes are intended to be funny in most cases
to publicly make fun of a person’s behavior. Memes are mostly virally spread by the young
generation because they are more connected to social media through channels such as Facebook,
Tweeter, WhatsApp, Instagram, and YouTube (Varis et al. 13). There is increasing in the average
age of meme users through the popularity of the internet and readily affordable and available

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Memes play different roles in modern culture to convey different information from
person to person ridiculously. They can create for opportunities the parents can talk to their
teenage kids about important issues such as war possibility or the disease pandemics. For
instance, a viral meme that shows two hands slicing a lemon fruit with a caption-“me preparing
for the coronavirus”. Despite the struggle of the health workers to obtain a cure for the disease
that has killed many people, the meme ridicules on a beer branded Corona to suggest that there is
no important need to get worried. On the internet, memes use images to show humour, celebrate,
or reprimand current events and a known culture. Consequently, memes have created a method
on how teenagers communicate in the modern digital world. Teens obtain news through memes
shared on Instagram and Snapchat, unlike the parents and teachers who mostly rely on Facebook
and Tweeter for news reports. As a result, there is the existence of a gap in how the teens and the
elderly understand and react to the same news events. Memes present a chance to discuss
definitions of unhealthy and healthy behavior in families since nowadays adolescents are
exposed to more technology than the previous generations. Therefore, adults need to guide the
teens on their behavior. Parents should keep on reminding their kids that memes can be created
by any person, even those that intend to spread information that is meant to bring the conflict in
Social media has hugely played a role in political campaigns and politics at large.
Various individuals have discovered an opportunity through social media platforms to express
their beliefs in politics in a manner that is entertaining, funny, and accessible. Memes are a
unique tool for expressing those beliefs. A meme can be a video or an image with a text that is
partially altered to create reactions on various circumstances. Memes have been used in
discussing politics through entertainment which can draw a lot of attention to the people

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(Heiskanen & Benita 12). As many young citizens learn and mould their opinions on social
platforms and memes basis, less action is left from traditional news sources in sharing political
information. Young voters use memes through social media as a political tool as they are
showing huge turnouts in campaigns. Sometimes memes tend to seem as silly internet time
dwellers, it has come to be a powerful tool for communication. Humour is a vessel hugely used
to engage the masses in places that have little public interests. The viral and fast spread of
memes makes it a powerful tool for effectively shaping the image of the public of different
election campaigns candidates.
Religiously oriented memes on the internet are spread through various messages and
interpretive practices of religion in the modern era to trend a religion online hence creating an
interesting understanding of the living religion. New media is taking part in spreading the
process of people enacting and expressing their religious beliefs. Religious based memes create
an image and language of a secular and a sacred assembled online to portray personalized insight
of a religion. Memes provide a vessel where the users can make meaning and sense of what they
believe by the creation of religious visual expressions (Burroughs et al. 357-377). These are as a
result reshaped by other people by reinterpreting the memes within their personal experiences
and understandings.

The shift of culture to socialism has become apparent regardless of the birth of
memes. Little is done by memes to combat the increasing behavior towards a life of online, thus
encouraging a change from reality. Both polarization and fractionalization are got online among
ideological groups that are different. The identity-driven characteristic of memes makes them a
strong tool for marketing. The destroying aspect of memes and the culture of the internet is that

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the methods used to market commodities as items for consumers and lifestyle have been
embraced for campaign personalization across the face of social life. The marketing team can
analyze the calculations that end up with the best meme to sell, for example, a movie, though it
will not beat a thing made by a younger teen.
Memes usually last for a limited period since they appear and vanish with no time. Most
of the adorable cultural ideas are transmitted throughout the world by memes. They linger for
some time in social media such as Facebook then they disappear unless they are reposted. From a
digital perspective, meme’s death is not a mysterious phenomenon than its birth. The death of
memes is caused by a gradual lack of interest and people becoming tired of them. ROFLCon,
convection about internet memes brought a change in the character of the culture of memes
started through Facebook and Twitter. It was indeed the end of an era that was defined by
subgenres such as Doge and LOLcats. It was fearful that some memes would betray a particular
community that viewed memes as an intellectual asset of their own. “Wistfully nostalgic for the
slower-speed good ol’ days,” Wired’s Brian Barrett reported Poole’s quote. “These days, memes
spread faster and wider than ever, with social media acting as fuel for mass distribution,” Andy
Baio wrote. Poole and Baio portray that something crucial in memetics is lost when they are
shared with a larger mass of people. Memes extinction will be caused by social networks.
Provided that creativity continues within the world, memes are not getting to extinction. The
vanishing of memes is the beginning of the creation of other new material for more memes.
Memes from the internet seem to remain alive but individual memes vanish faster. Overexposure
of memes is partially to blame for their disappearance since alone it cannot account for lifespan
varied amongst the memes that are concurrent. Some memes last longer than the others. Looking
memes as jokes can help to get answers to why some memes vanish and when is the return of the

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others. Elise Kramer, an anthropologist, points out that jokes can never be unpacked or
explicated but memes with jokes draw more attention to people. The guardian’s Elena pointed
that, “when it comes to memes, there’s a rule: it is dead as soon as the think pieces come out.”
She directly equates memetics to the fun by pointing that memetics stop being funny as soon as
they go mainstream since jokes get less funny once they are explained. Observing jokes as
artefacts of culture, researching individuals are concerned with both plotting the life cycle of a
joke and a context of a society that causes the public to engage in a particular joke at a specific
time. For example, lightbulb jokes came as a result of a joke of ethnicity in the 1960s. Many
lightbulb jokes looked to be an opinion on some economic, social, and cultural positions even
though they do not cross racial status or ethnicity. Memes draw and maintain the attention of the
people at a particular period since something on that period creates a situation that makes a
meme enticing. New contexts lead to the creation of new memes as the old ones diminish
through the changes in contexts. Distance and time can help in evaluating reasons why some
memes drew more attention to people and others disappeared quickly while others stayed.
Cultural, economic, and political moments that we live in can provide the reasons provided the
memes can be remembered.
Memes can be used for educational purposes as they have philanthropic value, which in
sophisticated contexts, can enhance critical thinking. Since memes are ridiculous, students might
not realize they are indeed learning. Skills such as critical thinking and creativity are used by
students when creating memes. Complex dialogue can be sparked by memes because they deal
with social issues or events which are current. Students still, gain skills of technology in the
process (Nowak et al. 73-79). Memes can reinforce what is being taught in the classroom or
online unit that indicates current lessons. As a result, excitement is also generated about things

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that are being taught. Students can increase their vocabulary by creating memes by defining and
using new words. The creation of excitement on new topics by introducing memes. The memes
will also help the teacher draw the attention of the students. The teacher gets to know the
students by asking them to create their memes about themselves. Therefore, memes can aid
relieve stress through jokes, connection to individuals with mutual opinions.
Silly memes have an impact on society through a change in culture in the same way as of
evolution in biology but in a different vessel. The brain is the medium where memetic evolution
occurs through natural selection. Silly memes convey jokes over serious topics on death and
suicide which have been considered normal by the society of today. Empathy on sensitive issues
has ceased as through social media, a person can solely take an instance of school shootings to
make young scholars find humour and laugh about it (Baysac et al. 267-281). Using memes as a
basis of giving glory to social problems can have detrimental impacts on people’s psychology. It
feels like society has lacked respect for its problems since it normalizes serious things like
depression and suicide instead of finding methods for a solution.

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Works Cited
Baysac, Paulo Emmanuel G., and Paulo G. Emmanuel. "Laughter in class: Humorous memes in
21st century learning." Journal of Social Sciences (COES&RJ-JSS) 6.2 (2017): 267-281.
Burroughs, Benjamin, and Gavin Feller. "Religious memetics: Institutional authority in
digital/lived religion." Journal of Communication Inquiry 39.4 (2015): 357-377.
Heiskanen, Benita. "Meme-ing electoral participation." European journal of American
studies 12.12-2 (2017).
Nowak, Jakub. "Internet meme as meaningful discourse: Towards a theory of multiparticipant
popular online content." Central European Journal of Communication 9.16 (2016): 73-
Varis, Piia, and Jan Blommaert. "Conviviality and collectives on social media: Virality, memes,
and new social structures." Multilingual Margins: A Journal of Multilingualism from the
Periphery 2.1 (2015): 31-31.