Summary: Milner clarifies the term “meme” in context to modern day society as it is a cultural phenomenon, dictated by social processes. He expresses the limits of memes as there is often a shift in culture and technology overtime.
“This memetic participation is larger than any individual image, video, or tweet. Memetic media are aggregate texts, collectively created, circulated, and transformed by countless cultural participants.”
“They’re made when new cultural contributions emerge from the mediated remix, mashup, and re-appropriation of texts and ideas that have come before, which themselves are their own remixes, mashups, and re-appropriations.”
This first quote is essential to mention because as many times as I have heard the word meme, I never really knew what it referred to. I remember when I first saw the word my freshman year of high school, I pronounced it “meh-may.” Although I was unfamiliar the term “meme,” I was familiar with what they were, but I had always just referred to them as “pictures on twitter.” I would make the argument that memes have adapted greatly over the last five years as I have seen a widespread use of them on all social media, and there really has been a recent hype. Five years ago, I defined memes as just pictures; now they are videos, hashtags, and even cultural movements. With all mediated communication in platforms of digital culture, comes some form of adaption as a result of culture. With that being said, I think the second quote is interesting because, although, memes obviously change as a result of culture, the very nature of a meme remains the same. This exemplifies the notion of the “Instagram Eye” we discussed in class as humans seek repetition of some common idea.
What is your favorite meme and why?