2016: The Year Of The Meme

Well, it has definitely been one of the more interesting years for sure. A year of so many highs and just as many lows to equal it all out. A year where everything was that much more controversial, offensive, and mentally draining. It was a year that I gained so many new friends, fell out of touch with some, and reunited with others as well. A year that included the expected and unexpected deaths of family and friends, but the birth of new family too. A year that the responsibilities of life hit me like a freight train. Just another year. I can definitely say that for myself at least, 2016 was a game changer.

So much happens in one year, that when you take the moment to look back over the past couple months it is truly amazing. Browsing through the crazy videos and photographs that were taken on top of mountains, in dorm rooms, weddings, or at 3 a.m. with your best friend. All of which happened within a twelve month span. Reminiscing through the good times and reflecting on the not so pleasant times.

If you ask most people around you, you most likely will get the responses such as, “this year sucked,” “uggggggghhh,” “let’s not start this conversation,” and “uggggggghhh.” I think this year brought some monumental changes in the eyes of politics across the world. There was the highly covered Brexit and of course the United States presidential election.

Then there was the craziness of the Internet. The Internet mourned the death of the gorilla Harambe for months and is still relevant in conversation. His remembrance is even on Christmas sweaters. There was also the motto of "Saturday's Are for the Boys." Which later blew up as college students across the country used it and transformed the saying to apply it to themselves, a sports team, or their college overall.

Everyone has been saying it is the year of the “meme,” and I cannot disagree. Everything that would happen either on the internet or outside the Internet, would then be portrayed online. When you type the word "meme" into the Google Search Engine this definition arises; a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc. that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users.

Why were memes so popular this year compared to past years? If you also think about it, GIFs became much more prominent this year as well. Instead of people describing themselves with emojis which was very popular in 2015 (the cry/happy/laugh face emoji was actually the "word of the year," released by the Oxford Dictionary in 2015), Internet users used photographs that he or she could relate to. Numerous exchanges through texts and tweets incorporated these memes, with the most likely blunt response of "same," or "me."

It's fascinating how year to year, there is at least one prominent aspect that summarizes a year. Here are some of the famous memes of 2016 that had received the most attention!

There is the Joe Biden one that surfaced as the presidential election came to a close.

The Kermit the Frog, Me to Inner Me.

The beloved Gavin!

Blurry Mr. Krabs from SpongeBob.

The Arthur Fist.

Caveman SpongeBob/ SpongeGar


Many people want to leave 2016 very far behind and start fresh with a clean slate in 2017. Expressionism online and in person has changed every year with some new form. Whether it be from a GIF, a meme, or an emoji, it will be interesting to see what people will incorporate into their lives to communicate with one another. The new year of 2017 is looking out to be the year of uncertainty.

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