What do you meme?

The biggest craze on social media to date is the viewing, sharing and creation of memes! Memes are essentially pictures or images of cultural symbols and social ideas that are spread virtually for the sole purpose to make people laugh. The content of memes is usually humorous everyday scenarios sometimes in reference to urban legends, TV shows, movies and media. However, individuals have used the popularity of memes as a platform to bring awareness to controversial incidents occurring in the world.

One of the most popular, most extensively remixed memes on the internet today is also an example of a meme that originated for the purpose to bring awareness to a rather questionable incident. The ‘Arthur’s fist’ meme is a screenshot of Arthur’s fist — reaction meme accompanied by clever or relatable captions to describe frustrating situations.

The meme stars the protagonist of a childhood cartoon show “Arthur.” The original context of the meme was from an episode from the show (which aired in 1999) in which Arthur, the young aardvark punches his younger sister, D.W., for breaking his toy airplane. Nonetheless, since then screenshots from this episode has been used in many different contexts and scenarios.

The first meme was over an incident that happened at Cincinnati Zoo in the United States. A young boy had climbed into a gorilla enclosure and was grabbed and dragged by Harambe, the gorilla. Fearing for the boy’s life the zoo workers made the decision to shot and kill Harambe. This incident was recorded by bystanders and received international media coverage, including much controversy over whether the killing of the innocent gorilla was necessary. On July 28th 2016 the first meme was created captioned “when people say Harambe was just a gorilla” shedding light on the unsettling killing of an animal. This meme allowed an open discussion on the incident, which was a great positive for especially young kids to become more aware of the world around them.

Since then the meme has become extremely popular over various relatable and current social topics. Below are a few examples for you to enjoy!

Memes are a hilarious fad on the internet which allows you to enjoy yourself while scrolling through social media, it also allows for us to connect with the ones around us by tagging and sharing posts. Due to their current popularity, memes are extremely powerful and as to why individuals use them as a platform to share current situations, for example the Trump memes on the internet currently are endless. Nonetheless, which ever their intent, memes are a great asset to the social media experience.

To end of, please enjoy a hilarious meme created by yours truly in regards to this course: