If you’re a frequent social media user, you must have found yourself at some point laughing at a comedic post on your timeline. These posts are usually memes.
So what are memes exactly?
Memes, pronounced like teams, are social symbols, concepts or ideas that spread infectiously over the Internet. They can be very deep or very simple and are more often than not humorous mockeries of human behaviors or something in pop-culture, politics, the news, a movie, a television show or a trend on the Internet. Some are philosophical and alternatively offering a darkly humorous interpretation of life or something motivational.
They usually take the form of an image (person, animal, fictional character or symbol) with text that is subject to change/personalization by various Internet users. Together, the image and text contain an underlying message that become popular and identifiable either within one culture, but more often than not, across cultures. The best memes are universal. Show any millennial a picture of Kermit the frog holding a cup of tea and they’ll know that you’re judging silently.
So what makes them so popular?
Well, first, they say a lot in a simple, not to mention funny, way. They offer a kind of secret language that one can only interpret after de-coding the underlying message/idea of the meme.
How does one de-code these messages?
Simply by taking the time to scroll through several of the posts people generate for a single meme. You might not catch onto all of them, especially if their content is something you are completely unfamiliar with. But after much chuckling at your computer screen and hours of scrolling (let’s face it, who can stop scrolling through memes?) you will just about be a meme expert.
The idea behind a single meme is also often generalized and relatable among a mass of people. Because they’re free to everyone’s subjective interpretation, this gives people a fun way to express themselves, to use their voice and to vent and make light of some of life’s harsher issues.
Memes are also current and relevant to what’s happening in the world. The trending ‘meme of the moment’ is always changing from one thing to the next. People try to craft the funniest post to a trending meme, hoping it will boost their Internet presence, give them more followers, or even make them Internet famous. Others even aspire to be the subject of a trending meme. Seriously.
Most importantly perhaps, memes are fun, ridiculous, sometimes nonsensical posts that can cheer people up after a long, hard day and give them a chance to let loose and be silly (Internet-style).
Jamaican memes are often a light-hearted mockery of Jamaican lifestyle, attitudes and behaviors. Here are a few to brighten your day: