It doesn't matter if you're an avid tweeter, a Tumblraddict,or a Facebook junkie; there's one thing you can't avoid on the Web: memes. Memes are everywhere and just about anything or anyone can become one. Grumpy Cat, Alex from Target, Overly Attached Girlfriend, Success Kid — all of them started out as normal, everyday people (or animals), but were somehow catapulted into the online spotlight, overnight.
The actual term “meme” comes from the 1976 book ‘The Selfish Gene’ by Richard Dawkins, who defined it as a ‘unit of cultural information passed between people’, but today, memes are most commonly known as those funny pictures with puns and jokes overlaid on top in bold, white lettering.
What is a meme?
A meme is quite simply a concept, behaviour, or idea that spreads virally, usually via the Internet. Memes most commonly appear as pictures or videos, but they can also take the form of a link, hashtag, a simple word, phrase, or even an entire website. Memes can also take the form of viral videos, with one of the most famous examples being the "Harlem Shake" memes that took over the Internet in early 2013. (The original video has now received more than 75,000,000 views)