Meme Concept in Communication
Outstanding technological shifts have characterized the last three decades. They have transformed the world. One of the most significant technological advancement was the foundation of the internet, a system that fundamentally modified human interaction. The development of the internet made it simpler for people to interact with another and the widespread adoption of the internet additionally revolutionized human communication. One far-reaching and prevalent culture that has developed as a result of easier communication is the use of memes. A meme is a conception, technique or custom that escalates from one person to another with the purpose of sending a particular meaning or idea represented by the meme. The spread of memes has significantly shaped how people communicate, and they have played a fundamental role in advancing the contemporary digital culture. Memes provide a compelling new way of blending a few things such as art, creativity, humor and the intended message.
One of the central ideas used in the development of memes is the use of symbolism. According to Porter, symbolism points to the use of figures to pass an opinion from one person to the other (Porter 2013). Modern memes have attained unproportioned success, and this is a factor attributed to the ability of the individual memes to use symbols that people in the digital culture can relate to something else. A case in point, the United States government, back rolled an internet privacy legislation established by the Obama administration and the United States population took to the internet to express their disappointment (K. a. Bajpai 2017). Smeagol or Gollum was one of the characters used in the viral memes. He is an infamous character in the film ""Lord of the Rings"" and ""The Hobbit."" The meme is captioned ""Your Browsing History We Needsss It"" mimicking how Smagol talks, but there is a deeper meaning to this particular meme.
The person behind the creation of this meme would have used any other character, but they chose to use Smagol who is an essential figure in the digital culture as he helps to convey specific ideas. In the film ""The Lord of the Rings"" and ""The Hobbit"" Smeagol is portrayed as destructive and contemptuous in that he tries to eat Bilbo a fellow hobbit only since he needs something to eat and raw fish are entirely his everyday meal (Chen 2012). This is an idea that is conveyed in the meme relating to internet privacy. The law that was reverted prevented internet providers from selling a person's internet history and cookies to third parties. By regressing this bill, Congress and the internet service providers showed nothing but contempt for their subscribers, as they disregard the importance of internet privacy to their consumers. Internet service providers pushed for reconsideration of the initially instituted law preventing the sale of a person's internet browsing history to third parties. Congress decided to roll back the bill to the previous legislation, and the internet community chose to use Smeagol to highlight the disdainful nature of internet service providing companies in America.
A different meme that was used to highlight discontent among the American digital users was captioned ""Tracking my cookies? They will never receive my recipe!"" This particular meme is very detailed in the use of symbolism and humor to convey a specific message. Internet users would not want their browsing history to be sold to third parties without their consent. Numerous approaches can be employed to attain this aim, and one of the ways that ensure that an individual's browsing history is not recorded is by browsing the internet in incognito mode (Horsman 2017). By browsing in incognito mode, a person has their true identity concealed, and this makes it harder for internet providing organizations to track an individual's online activity (K. a. Bajpai 2017). This meme uses an old woman who has a problem with her eyesight to highlight how internet users intend to complicate the acquisition of a person's browsing history by using their cookies. The meme uses humor to spread the idea that even though internet service providers treat their consumers with contempt, they are prepared to employ an array of approaches that will frustrate the proposed changes.
Some similarities can be drawn from these two memes, and one of the shared similarity is that they use images to ease information sharing, and the pictures used have a distinct theme which is buttressed by the use of short sentences. In the first meme, Smeagol is used to portray the subject of contempt of Congress and internet service providers. The second meme advances the theme of resistance against approaches employed by internet service providers to acquire the browsing history of their clients without their consent and the sell it to third parties. These two themes highlight that even though the government and internet service providers have disregarded their consumers with the introduction the new law, internet users are resolved to frustrate their efforts by not providing any browsing history and this is achievable by browsing the internet in disguised mode. These two memes present cultural symbols, social ideas and they are captioned with photos that are intended to be funny as a way of ridiculing human behavior.
In conclusion, it is manifest that one sweeping culture that has emerged as a result of easier communication is the use of memes. A meme is a creative suggestion, behavior or practice that spreads from one person to another with the aim of sending a particular meaning or purpose portrayed by the meme. Based on the two examples highlighted in this case it is manifest that memes provide a powerful, and innovative way of combining a few things such as art, creativity, humor to convey a specific message. The success of memes in expressing particular ideas can be used by different enterprises such as businesses to market new products as they tend to be cheaper and they can reach a large group of people in a short of time due to their virality. Nonetheless, research needs to be conducted to empirically establish the possibility of using memes to promote a new product and the success rate of memes as a marketing alternative. Based on the above discussion, it is clear that the spread of memes has significantly shaped how people interact, and they have performed a fundamental role in developing the modern digital culture.
Bajpai, Kartikeya and Klaus Weber. 2017. """"Privacy in public: Translating the category of privacy to the digital age."" In? From Categories to Categorization: Studies in Sociology, Organizations and Strategy at the Crossroads."" In ""Privacy in public: Translating the category of privacy to the digital age."" In? From Categories to Categorization: Studies in Sociology, Organizations and Strategy at the Crossroads, by Kartikeya and Klaus Weber Bajpai, 223-258. Emerald Publishing Limited.
Bajpai, Kartikeya, and Klaus Weber. 2017. "". ""Privacy in public: Translating the category of privacy to the digital age."" In? From Categories to Categorization: Studies in Sociology, Organizations and Strategy at the Crossroads."" In . ""Privacy in public: Translating the category of privacy to the digital age."" In? From Categories to Categorization: Studies in Sociology, Organizations and Strategy at the Crossroads, by Kartikeya, and Klaus Weber Bajpai, 223-258. Emerald Publishing Limited.
Chen, Carl. 2012. The creation and meaning of internet memes in 4chan: Popular internet culture in the age of online digital reproduction. Accessed December 1, 2017. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/cdfe/5d41d45a2453d8177e87a2a766068535ee12.pdf.
Horsman, Graeme. 2017. A process-level analysis of private browsing behavior: A focus on Google Chromes Incognito mode. May 4. Accessed December 1, 2017. http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/abstract/document/7916513/?reload=true.
Porter, David. 2013. Internet culture. Routledge.