Remember Pepe the Frog? Or the blinking guy meme? Or the French Revolution Meme? Well, how did everything start and how exactly did they become funny? These memes all originally started as ideas that spread until they became pervasive enough through a certain country or culture.
History of Memes
According to the story by PBS.org, a certain evolutionary biologist known as Richard Dawkins, Memes are actually cultural units of information. He then called them "memes" which was a word that came from the Greek word "mimeme" and "gene." Memes are what he described as a "cultural gene."
Dawkins reportedly contends that ideas, ideals, cultures, and even customs replicate themselves quite like a virus. They reportedly travel from a person to another person through imitation, through sharing, and through repetition. It was stated that while every single meme is an idea, not all ideas technically become memes since some of them just aren't worth passing or copying.
Memes as Early as 3 B.C.
Memes, as of today, have become visual representations of different feelings, different thoughts, ideas, or maybe even just plain jokes. However, in some particularly weird form, it has been found dating all the way back to 3 B.C. Archaeologists reportedly uncovered a certain mosaic in what was reportedly an ancient city of Antioch.
The mosaic reportedly was a piece in three different frames which somehow depicted a bathing scene. The first frame is of a servant preparing a bath; the second frame, a young man running away from the bath and being pursued by an older servant, who is unable to catch him; the last scene, a "reckless" but seemingly happy skeleton of the young man is sitting casually with a jug of wine.
The Original YOLO
The inscription to the piece of art actually read "Be cheerful" and "Live your life." The story actually says not to let anyone tell you how you should live. It also urges readers to do what they want since they are going to die later on anyway. This could actually be the very first YOLO which was a phrase made very popular throughout the world. For those that don't know what YOLO means, it is basically an abbreviation for You Only Live Once.
Memes also aren't technically even species-specific since there are also a lot of memes about animals as well. As of today, there are millions of memes all over the internet with thousands more coming in. Every time someone does something funny online, they usually become a meme.
There are now even memes about TV shows and movies showing the whole stretch of just how wide memes can be. There are even groups on Facebook of fans gathering together sharing memes about their favorite show. An example of this is the Facebook group "The office addicts" that share memes specifically about the show itself. This is just one of the thousand of Facebook groups out there.
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Written by Urian Buenconsejo