The History of Internet Memes
Tracing the word back to its Greek roots, “meme” comes from “mimema” meaning, something imitated. Believe it or not, the word “meme” was actually first used by an evolutionary biologist named Richard Dawkins in 1976. In a scientific context, Dawkins used the word meme to describe how people transmit social and cultural ideas to each other. Just as DNA replicates and evolves, so do ideas in a social context.
This concept of shared meanings, behaviors and ideas took itself to the internet in the form of catchphrases. In the early days of the Internet, memes were mostly sent through email or posted on public discussion pages. Some of the first internet memes were Hampster Dance, LOLCats, and Dancing Baby, or Baby Cha-Cha. Millennials and Gen-Zs might think internet memes are their “thing,” but for the record, these early-internet memes came out before most modern-day teens and young adults were even born!
The world of internet memes as many people know it today began with the rise of web search engines, internet forums, and social networking sites.
Some early internet memes that millennials might recognize are the thug life and bro memes. The thug life meme typically includes the phrase, “I didn’t choose the thug life, the thug life chose me” and ironically features images depicting white suburban stereotypes. Bro memes like “Come At Me Bro,” “Cool Story, Bro,” and “Do You Even Lift, Bro?” have also gotten popular and significantly increased the usage of the word “bro” in many people’s vocabularies as a shortened form of “brother” or to describe a friend.
The TV show The Office has also created many popular memes that can be understood by the series’ fans and even those who have never seen an episode of the show. The famous memes credited to The Office include the “No God, Please No!,” “That’s What She Said,” “Did I Stutter?,” and “I am Beyonce Always” memes. The internet memes featuring the show’s famous characters are some of the most classic memes, but internet memes are continuing to evolve.
Internet memes have become more than a photo with a funny caption, and now include emojis, GIFs, and videos. Bongo Cat is an internet meme that features a GIF of a cat playing the bongos. This meme originated on Twitter, and has since spread to other social networking sites and been edited so that the cat plays other musical instruments with different songs in the background.
While some internet memes are known by everyone, others are targeted toward a niche group or audience.
One meme targeted at a niche group that has gotten popular in recent years is the VSCO Girl meme. The term VSCO girl is used to describe a teenage girl who uses the VSCO photo editing app and has a certain style which includes wearing scrunchies on her wrist, having a hydroflask, and wearing trendy clothing and accessories.
Another popular type of memes that targets a niche group are anime memes. There are hundreds of anime memes that each reference a different anime series like Naruto, Pokemon and Dragon Ball Z.
By now you get the point: there are a lot of internet memes! And I’m sure you have a favorite. So let’s talk about how you can show it off to the world.
Meme stickers are a great way of sharing your love for memes. And you can place them almost anywhere, including phone cases, cars, guitar cases, windows, laptops, water bottles - whatever. If you consider yourself to be a VSCO girl, you can even put them on your hydroflask or iPhone.
The best part about having vine stickers, meme stickers, laptop stickers, and funny stickers is that they will not only make you laugh every time you open your laptop or fill up your water bottle, but they will make other people laugh too. Having high-quality vinyl stickers and decals is important so that your stickers can spread laughter to others, without having to worry about them falling off or breaking.
Big Moods has sticker sheets and pack stickers to meet each and every one of your sticker needs. We even have a meme sticker pack and are always coming out with new stickers too!
Hopefully, by now you’ve become a meme expert, ready to browse the web for the latest trends. But before you go scroll through social media sharing memes old and new, make sure to take a look at our meme stickers and show off your favorite internet meme with a new sticker!