The internet has been a gateway to leaps and bounds of information that we didn’t have before, a gateway for perspectives, ideas and thought.
Along with the facet for information the internet has also provided for humanity a sense of connection that no other community could dream to have because of the lack of a moderator or system, thus leaving the internet community the only society with a level playing field, making it the only true meritocracy where content is valued more than a person’s societal hierarchy. With this global connection there has been a culture that has risen where people come together to discuss many topics often anonymously and share jokes. These jokes are shared through the meme.
A meme is an image with text highlighting a certain characteristic of the image, spreading an idea, thought or message the creator wants to spread often done in a humorous way. Memes are typically intended to be viral and sensationalist.
The first meme came far before the true internet revolution of the late 1990’s and the early 2000’s where users could truly experiment and make the internet a place of it’s own. The first meme came during the second world war and it was made a joke and a sign of reassurance. The meme’s name was Kilroy. The joke was that Kilroy greeted the soldiers before they came to a certain place. Wherever soldiers went during the war, in times of confusion they would draw the exact same Kilroy ‘meme’ drawing on trees, walls and unfamiliar landmarks. The drawing had the phrase “Kilroy was here” and the character Kilroy was seen as a hero who had made it out alive.
The first Internet Memes had evolved from the website 4chan, a website where users could post things anonymously. The community of the website seemed to have generated their own method of communication in referencing things from popular culture. The site 4chan and other such sites had pioneered the internet as we know it today.
The first internet memes came from references as ‘over 9000’ from DragonballZ and other such references.