Over fifty percent of people under thirty-five send a meme at least once a week. But, how did memes gain so much traction? And how did they get started?
Well, luckily, there’s lots of information about the history of memes out there for you to consume. Read on to learn all about the first-ever meme.
The Origins of Memes
The term ‘meme’ is originally thought to be coined by Richard Dawkins, the evolutionist. Back in the day, it was thought to be a metaphor for something in culture that mimics the patterns of genes in our biology. The term was popularized back in 1993.
The first non-internet meme known in popular culture is referred to as “Kilroy Was Here”. It was a form of graffiti that became popular during the Second World War. It was basically a doodle of a man poking his nose over a wall.
The First Memes
The first internet meme is thought to be “Baby ChaCha”, which came out in 1996. The original video was created to show off advances in CGI and ended up being popularized by the American television show Ally McBeal.
But, it took a while after the Dancing Baby for other memes to gain popularity. Around the year 2000, the ROFLcopter meme started gaining traction. ROFL stands for “rolling on the floor, laughing”, which was then superimposed with a design of a helicopter. This meme has a lot of different uses, which explains its quick and widespread popularity.
These memes are pretty simple, but they set the tone for our more extensive internet memes today.
In today’s world, anyone can make a meme at any time. You can use this meme maker to make memes that suit your own needs, may it be a specific situation or a cultural event. New memes pop up on a daily basis. Some recent popular memes include:
- Bernie Sanders wearing mittens at Joe Biden’s inauguration
- Taylor Armstrong (one of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills) yells at a cat.
- Tiffany “New York” Pollard sits on a bed with sunglasses on
- Keanu Reeves sitting on a bench looking sad
- Guy looks away from his girlfriend at another woman (“Distracted Boyfriend”
- Telling someone to delete their account, ala Hillary Clinton
- Images of James van der Beek in Dawson’s Creek crying
But, you don’t just have to rely on the zeitgeist to bring memes to the forefront. You can stroll through social media, looking for new memes or other content you find funny, and share them around. That’s how memes become popular in the first place, after all.
The First-Ever Meme: Now You Know
Clearly, knowing the first-ever meme isn’t as straightforward as you might think. But, with this info, you should be clearer about some of the top memes in history.
Are you feeling interested in learning a lot more about the history of the internet and more? Take a look and read through a few of our other useful articles.
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