6 Fascinating Reasons Why We Relate To Memes So Much

6 Fascinating Reasons Why We Relate To Memes So Much

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You're scrolling on Facebook, and a small chuckle flees from your lips. Your life has been a little hectic lately, but a good meme can always make you laugh. In a fast-paced world, we are able to quickly read a short word or phrase provided by memes and then relay the memes to our friends. So why do we relate so much to memes?

1. Memes allow us to communicate


A mechanism of communication for Millennials, our understanding of a meme depends on the words and image.The text takes on a new definition when the image is taken into account.

2. They make us laugh

Laughter is markedly associated with viral memes. While laughter is universal, the source of laughter varies from a group of friends, a nation, and the world. For instance, what you find funny may not be the same thing a 40-year-old Japanese woman considers funny (unless you are a 40-year-old Japanese woman, and in that case, it is likely no two people fitting that description will have the same taste in humor). In the wake of the presidential election, memes can provide comic relief.

3. They make us feel like we are a part of something

A shared sense of humor can also contribute to belongingness, helping us feel like we are a part of something larger than ourselves. By sharing a meme, we become part of a larger group of our friends, community, country, or even the world. By relating to and/or sharing a viral meme, we recognize our shared experience with other humans.

4. We express our emotions through memes

Humor can allow us to explore our identities and situations while not making ourselves vulnerable. When we share memes, we share a part of ourselves. Memes allow us to say things that resonate with us on some level about ourselves or other people. By sharing a viral meme, we are able to express our emotions reluctantly, yet openly to the world. If we express our deepest emotions through memes, the numerous likes and reposts strip us of emotional culpability. We tend to share memes more often when they evoke a strong emotional response. Interestingly, viral content tends to elicit positive and negative emotions simultaneously.

5. We have a need to share with others

When we express our thoughts and feelings, even through memes, the reward system in our brains is activated. While self-disclosure has been described as selfish, it seems that self-disclosure is beneficial to the individual as well as society.

6. We seek knowledge


Memes appeal to us on an emotional and cognitive level. One of the things that make us human is our quest for knowledge, which can be exemplified by the sharing of memes. A superficial understanding of cultural evolution can be derived from memes, but not without the forfeiture of a deeper understanding of the cultural evolution composed by profuse mental representations as well as the cognitive and social mechanisms behind the creation, selection, and transmission of mental representations. Paul Thagard refers to memes as "lazy biological analogy" and encourages people to investigate the spread of ideas through the lens of cognitive social science.

Cover Image Credit: Karolina Grabowska via Pixabay

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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To Love a Broken Vase — An Ode To Valentine's Day

"To love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides." --David Viscott, How to Live with Another Person, 1974

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I remember an anecdote my elementary school teacher told us in the fifth grade. When a mother is pregnant with a child, they feel comfortable in their flesh. Provided with everything they needed to survive, they don't have to worry about anything. It's not until after they are born and the umbilical chord is severed that they realized they were not good enough, and insecurities fester.

I went through a similar process when I was growing up. Contained within my family and books, I felt like I held the world in my hands. It was not until high school where I seriously sought out others for company and wanted to apply myself to the social universe. And I saw myself changing in not only my behaviors, but how I see myself within the world.

With working hard to get good grades, with trying to get my driver's license, and becoming a better person overall, I realized the process involved a lot more effort than I ever had expected. And I found myself unprepared for the slow drudgery of it all. While I once pushed through to get things done, now I find myself giving up on projects while coming up with new ones. I frequently turned to my laptop for solace, as it kept my fantasies alive, but it also stole time away from me.

These behaviors showed in my relationships: I found it hard to meet up with friends, and my parents started worrying about what would my future look like. With the latter, I've had multiple conflicts with them, with me asserting I wanted to be free from everything, including accountability. Of course, that perception was quite unrealistic — to love and be loved, as well as to succeed, there has to a tug to know when you're doing something wrong.

***

A year ago, I wrote an article about how I saw romantic love from somebody who has never been in a relationship. Many things still apply today — I'm better off working towards my educational and career goals than seeking out love, though with Valentine's Day, it still fascinates me on whether or not I could be loved from somebody else.

From what I've heard from others, they would be charmed by my intelligence and kindness, neither fulfilling the stereotype of a nerd nor the perfect angel. However, the naivete would also put someone off, and potentially puts them in danger. I also see myself as the spontaneous type, but to the point where I forget where my priorities are, again making them worse than they really are. I imagine they would be intrigued by me as a friend or a lover, but end up breaking away after a short amount of time.

I don't imagine finding myself loving other people in the short term; however, I find myself open towards others. And that what makes me more afraid about how people view me--will they not be able to see the positives in myself when the time comes? Will they be just as capable of forgiving me the same way my family does?

At the end, I should take my friend's advice for Valentine's Day — love oneself. And take actions to make sure that I can love myself deeper and further.

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