We are living in a meme renaissance. Every day as a society we are bombarded with hundreds and hundreds of different memes. Some of them are clever and original but the majority are beaten down, reused jokes. At first, when memes were still infants, they were only stupid little jokes that entertained the youth. There were playful and meaningless. But over the past year they have mutated into something that no one would ever have thought they would. They are starting to leave a dent on our society. For example, a meme was just elected president.
President-elect Trump is a living example of the power of memes. His election started as a joke and meme creators started to craft ample amounts of pro Trump memes. It became a joke to say you were going to vote for Trump. Many people didn’t care for his policies, but only the fact that it was funny. This is how Trump’s campaign gained some momentum and ended with him taking the presidency. Memes had a great influence on his campaign.
I can’t talk about influential memes without talking about Harambe’s impact on society. That dead gorilla has changed America in the past year and a half. Even after the meme died and became unfunny, people still went crazy over Harambe. In this past election, thousands of people wrote in Harambe on their voting ballot. They basically threw their vote in the trash.
However memes can surprisingly have a positive effect as well. A meme that is semi-popular right now is the Lazytown meme. The meme is mainly focused on the character Rotten Robbie played by Stefán Karl Stefánsson. Currently actor Stefán Karl Stefánsson is going through cancer treatment. Meme accounts creators have raised thousands of dollars to help support Stefán Karl Stefánsson. The same thing happened to Hugh Mungus. Youtuber Ethan Klein raised money for Hugh Mungus who is also going through cancer treatment.
Honestly, I enjoy memes just as much as the next guy. They have positive and negative effects on our society. All I have to say is don’t take memes too seriously. People need to realize they are just jokes and nothing more.