Ah memes, a sweet relief from the ever serious and depressing world. Memes, the subject of hundreds of thousands of accounts on snapchat, instagram, twitter, tumblr, and many other social media accounts. Memes have helped find humour in even the worst of times.
Memes started with the GIF. Many debate whether GIF is said JIF with a J sound or GIF with a G sound. GIF actually stands for something, contrary to the former belief of the simple-minded. GIF means, Graphic Interchange Format, which is basically a way of saying, series of frames looping to create an animation.
The first official GIF was made in 1987 by Steve Wilhite. Wilhite used a series of frames that looped to create an infinite animation. But do not be fooled by this. Steve Wilhite did NOT create memes. The first “idea” of a GIF was made by a man whose name is not known today. He started by taking different frames of a horseback rider and putting them in front of a light projector on a spinning wheel. This created the illusion that the horse was galloping forever.
The GIF eventually evolved into the internet meme in a few years later. Memes and GIFs such as the dancing baby and the Harlem shakes. GIFs and memes’ popularity never seems to decrease. They have only become more popular as technology evolves.
The word meme means infectious idea, which is quite appropriate because memes are often “stolen” online so big meme accounts can gain more followers. Although the history of the “meme” is mostly overlooked. It will never soon be forgotten as the meme business continues to thrive.
The World of Meme Accounts
The earliest “meme” accounts were basically drawings by neanderthals on cave walls. These weren’t necessarily “funny,” but they were a way to express ideas and tell stories. Thousands of years later, the meme is invented. The meme is slow going at first, but when more and more people get computers, memes gradually become more popular until their popularity sky rockets. After memes started to become more popular, the first meme accounts opened. They depicted funny drawings, cartoons, and GIFs recently made. The first meme accounts were mostly websites and blog posts, since social media wasn’t big at that time.
As memes get more popular and social media gets more popular too, meme accounts get extremely popular. Then, here we are today, with millions of comics, memes, and GIFs accounts all over the internet. The meme account is like a dog-eat-dog world. New memes that are good with the audiences are often stolen and overused. Eventually, they stop being funny and they turn into dead memes. Dead memes are just failed, overused, or old memes. One of the most iconic dead memes is Pepe the Frog.
Pepe the Frog was an iconic icon for memes, GIFs, and comics. Pepe was the center of attention for about two years. Pepe is basically an animated green frog that is either crying, smiling, or dying. Yes, I said dying. Pepe was often “tortured.” People would edit the pictures of Pepe so that he had stab wounds, bullet holes, or any other kind of extremely painful injury.
Meme graveyards were often made for those dead memes, but once again, the meme graveyard died. In recent years Pepe has tried to make a comeback, but it just doesn’t do well with audiences.
Big time meme accounts often but their followers and/or friends. The social media app, Instagram, has a feature for business accounts where they can pay a certain amount of money for a certain amount of followers. The big meme accounts often advertise things like clothes, other accounts, or technology. These are called shout-outs. Shout-outs are basically social suicide for meme accounts. Most of the time shout-outs are taken down within 24 hours.
The only reason meme accounts post shout-outs is because they get money for posting those. They then use that money to buy more followers. Then, the account will do the whole cycle over again. It’s sort of like a Ponzi scheme, but it is legal. I like to call this agenda the memer schemes.
That basically sums up memes simplified. I hope you learned something interesting!