25 Things You May Not Know About Meme

I’m having a little fun with one of the latest viral trends going around Friendfeed to express my general belief that the term ‘meme’ has been corrupted to be nothing other than a glorified fad.

  1. Meme was coined by Richard Dawkins in his book The Selfish Gene
  2. It is defined as conveying the idea of a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation
  3. It is derived from the Greek word “mimema” meaning something imitated
  4. The study of memes is known as Memetics
  5. It is intended to provide a definition for the way ideas and trends move through society as genetic traits move from generation to generation through genes
  6. Genes are considered to move vertically from generation to generation,  although with current genetic research it’s possible they may even move horizontally within a generation at some point in the future
  7. Memes are considered to move either vertically or horizontally
  8. Good examples of memes that move vertically are cultural trends like racism, speech patterns, pizza crust preferences and the type of BBQ sauce you consider to be the only true BBQ
  9. Good examples of horizontal memes are fashion, slang, and the belief that Al Gore truly deserved a Nobel Peace Prize
  10. A fad is considered to be a phenomenon that becomes popular for a very short time.
  11. A fad technically fits the description of a horizontal meme since it is transmitted and imitated
  12. The short time period indicates that it is a failed meme, a dead end on the cultural evolutionary tree
  13. Thankfully!
  14. Although Jams were awesome – why don’t we wear those anymore?
  15. Calling your short lived internet fad a meme will make you feel more important
  16. You’re not
  17. Calling it a meme will make you feel more sophisticated
  18. You’re not that either
  19. Calling it a meme might confuse more people into taking part though
  20. So I don’t blame you for doing it
  21. But I still find it a little annoying
  22. And I just wanted you to know…
  23. That the meme you are participating in is just a glorified fad
  24. And as long as you are OK with that, then go for it!
  25. If “internet memes” are your thing you might want to spend some quality time with Encyclopedia Dramatica

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